Caravan for 747 shuttle carrier begins journey to Space Center Houston

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by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 29 at 4:51 AM

HOUSTON – If you think that maneuvering in Houston traffic is tough in your car, try it with a 200-foot long, 35-foot high, 25-foot wide trailer.

The caravan that will be moving down Highway 3 Monday night is not your average load. It is a huge piece of history.

“We are creating another major landmark in Houston,” said Paul Spana, exhibit director at Space Center Houston.

It might not look like much now, but the jumbo jet knows how to draw a crowd. Four-year-old Abe is already excited, “Cause it is so cool!”

The last time it was used to do its job, thousands of people came to Ellington Field to see the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its way to its permanent home in California.

The Shuttle Carrier 747 has been here for weeks, and after 38 days to take it apart, it is finally on the move.

“Something always needs to go wrong. I’m not worried about it at all though,” Spana said.

It is a challenge that Space Center Houston has faced before when it moved the mock shuttle to the location where it will now be perched on top of the Shuttle Carrier.

This is a bigger challenge in every way. Spana said, “That was may be a mile. This is eight miles, and we are out on a big highway.”

That is why they will be doing it over two nights. The caravan will travel 5.75 miles south on Highway 3 to NASA 1 Monday night, and then the final 2 miles from NASA 1 to the Space Center Tuesday night.

MORE: See Route Map in PDF format

The $12 million project will be completely funded by donations and will open in March 2015.

It is not just the move of the 747 that is a large part of this project. It is also refinishing the mock shuttle that has already been in place here over a year.

Ultimately, the mission will simply change to one of education, a mission that will never retire.

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