California Science Center

When you’re in Los Angeles and it starts to rain there is always something to do. The California Science Center is one of those things you can do, it also has the advantage of hosting the Space Shuttle Endeavour.

I can remember as a small child watching on TV the first launch of the space shuttle, it got a bit boring due to the delays and postponements, but it was an amazing thing to watch. The shuttle differed from the ‘conventional’ rockets that had launched so far in the fact it was not a capsule attached to the end of a rocket but a ‘space craft’ that could land and fly again.

Space Shuttle Endeavour – California Science Center

When first launched the Space Shuttle would make space travel routine and cheap, two words that access to space wasn’t in the 1970’s or 1980’s and to be honest its far from cheap and routine even today well into the 21st century. It’s ironic that at the time of writing this the only manned space vehicles operating are the Russian Soyuz (which pre dates even Apollo and the Space Shuttle) and a Chinese version of Soyuz. It’s also ironic that the three ‘new’ American space craft Orion, Starliner and Dragon have all returned to the ‘capsule’ design although they are now or will be reusable.

The original mission for the Space Shuttle was Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and specifically to the Skylab US space station launched in the 1970’s by the last of the Saturn V heavy lift moon rockets. Unfortunately due to delays in the shuttle program Skylab fell out of orbit and burned up before the shuttle first launched. Later the shuttle would perform satellite repairs (Hubble Space Telescope) and help build the International Space Station.

Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME)

Seeing the iconic orbiter in person was a dream come true, so many times watching the shuttle on TV, playing with the shuttle toys as a kid and reading about its operation in many books, I never dreamed I would actually see it in real life.

Check out the Gallery and the YouTube video.

Warner Bros Studio Tour

Booked several weeks before setting off for LA the Warner Bros Studio Tour was high on the list of places I wanted to visit this time. Previously I had visited both Paramount Pictures and the Universal Studios in November 2018.

Entrance to Warner Bros Studio Tour

The studio is associated with numerous films and television shows that I grew up with so it was a dream come true to finally visit. I also got to visit the sound stage for Lethal Weapon TV series which has just been cancelled so the sets were due to be demolished this week and my group would be one of the last to tour them.

Check out the Gallery for all the photo’s from the tour, they did ask not to record video during the tour and not to take photo’s whilst on the sound stage so unfortunately no photos of the Lethal Weapon set.

Los Angeles (Santa Monica)

For my second visit to Los Angeles I decided to stay near the sea at Santa Monica. The hotel is located around ΒΌ mile from the sea front and the famous Santa Monica pier. The area is much nice than the area of Hollywood I stayed in previously with more shops, restaurants and cafes in the area near to the hotel.

Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica

For this visit rather than just to rely on the iPhone camera I bought a simple ‘point & shoot’ from Canon. This gives better overall images as well as an optical zoom (x4) plus a better digital zoom (x18) if needed. It only records video in 1080p where as the iPhone will do 4K at 60FPS.

Flying once more from Heathrow Terminal 5 with British Airways (got to use that Bronze membership) I flew directly to LAX. Once again I upgraded the standard economy seat with a seat near the emergency exit to allow the extra leg room.

Santa Monica State Beach

Places visited so far – Hollywood walk of fame & Chinese Theater, Warner Bros Studios, Griffiths Observatory, Malibu and the Santa Monica Museum of Aviation. As the weather is going to be poor tomorrow I have decided to visit the California Science Center which should be interesting.

Check out the Galleries for the latest pictures.