HOUSTON—The specialized 747 that transported space shuttle orbiters cross-country for years, has finally arrived at its permanent home at Space Center Houston on Nasa Parkway in the Clear Lake area.
The jumbo jet arrived in the wee hours of Wednesday morning with crowds lining the route and snapping pictures. It took two days to transport the jet eight miles from Ellington Field to its permanent home at Space Center Houston. A robot, centipede trailer was used. At times, power lines had to be moved so the jet could pass down roads.
The mock shuttle orbiter that Houston received once NASA ended the shuttle program, will be mounted on the back of the 747 and visitors will be able to walk into both once the exhibit opens.
”I mean these guys did a great job of transporting it. We were over here yesterday and we saw it along Highway 3 and then we wanted to see where it’s going to be,” said Charles Brod, a Space Center Houston visitor.
Right now the 747 is in pieces and assembly is required.
”Boeing generously donated their services to put that back together. It will take them approximately 44 days,” said Gayden Cooper, Communications Director at Space Center Houston. She said the exhibit will open sometime next year, but she could not pin down the month.
The exhibit will be eight stories tall. Admission will be included in the price of a Space Center Houston ticket.
”I’m delighted about this because we should have gotten the shuttle in the first place and we didn’t,” said visitor Vicky Brod. “Now we’ve got the only set up that has the transporter and a shuttle.”
Space Center Houston is $3 million shy of having the funding it needs for the $12 million exhibit. To donate or learn more, visit: spacecenter.org