NASA on Tuesday handed over the ownership of retired space shuttle Endeavour to the California Science Center in Los Angeles where it will be displayed permanently.

During a ceremony at CSC in Los Angeles Tuesday, NASA has officially transferred the title and ownership of the space shuttle to the center. However, the center will receive Endeavour only in the latter half of 2012.

NASA is pleased to share this wonderful orbiter with the California Science Center to help inspire a new generation of explorers, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.

The next chapter in space exploration begins now, and we're standing on the shoulders of the men and women of the shuttle program to reach farther into the solar system, NASA said.

Once the display preparation and post-mission work get completed, Endeavour will be delivered on the 747 shuttle carrier aircraft to the Los Angeles International Airport. From there, the shuttle will be taken to its new abode, the Science Center in Exposition Park, through the streets of Los Angeles, NASA said in a statement.

According to California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph, Endeavour will be helpful to instigate interest in science and engineering among younger generations. Endeavour now will begin its new mission to stimulate an interest in science and engineering in future generations at the science center, said Jeffrey Rudolph, president of the California Science Center, during a ceremony at the museum.

Endeavour, which flew its final voyage in May 2011, had traveled 115 million miles (184 million km) during 25 flights and carried 139 people into orbit before NASA retired the space shuttle fleet in July.

Charles Bolden announced that CSC was one of four institutions nationwide that were selected to receive the agency's space shuttle vehicles. As per NASA's announcement, other three facilities apart from the California Science Center where four shuttle orbiters will be displayed permanently include Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Udvar-Hazy Center and Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

MEET IBT NEWS FROM BELOW CHANNELS