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Space Shuttle Endeavour leaves the Orbiter Processing Facility on its way to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center August 11, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Fla. - 

The Space Shuttle Endeavour flies into Los Angeles later today, piggybacking on a Boeing 747. The California Science Center beat out museums in lots of other cities, including Houston, which has been vocal in its disappointment. It's going to be a big prize for the museum that's spending $200 million to be the shuttle's retirement home.

Center president Jeffrey Rudolph said this will put his museum on the map.

"We think this is a must-see, and people coming to California and Los Angeles in particular are going to absolutely want to see this when they come," Rudolph says.

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum saw a 30 percent boost in visitors after it acquired the Space Shuttle Discovery back in April, and the museum's Valerie Neal said L.A. might get an even bigger bump, thanks to the long slow drive from the airport to the museum.

"Their arrival is going to be so visible for two days on the streets of Los Angeles," she says.

While admission to the California Science Center is free, it does mean more people paying for parking, special exhibit fees, souvenirs and meals. But the museum says the real value will be educating the roughly 25 percent of visitors who are schoolchildren.