HOUSTON—The shuttle Explorer finally made it to its home at Space Center Houston Sunday afternoon after a slow trek through Clear Lake.
"This is not the real thing and we know that. But still you can’t resist," said Bob Ketcham, a spectator.
NASA Road One wasn’t built as a landing strip for anything, and plenty of folks were drawn to the show.
"It’s not every day you see a barge going down NASA 1 carrying a shuttle replica," said Sofia Harvey.
The first trouble came before the first turn.
"Once they got up onto the road you could kind of tell they were going to have issues trying to make the turn," said Suzanne Hoag.
After a two-hour wait, welders were able to cut loose a light pole blocking the turn and the shuttle got rolling.
The rest of the trip was a tight squeeze, but nothing a little extra pruning couldn’t fix.
The road was supposed to be open to regular traffic by 9 a.m., but by then the shuttle was only a third of the way.
The shuttle is a consolation prize of sorts. Since 1994, it’s been on display at the Kennedy Space Center. It’s not what anyone here wanted, but they’ll make the most of it.
"It is more than that. Our kids are going to be able to go inside of it and touch it and dream and aspire to be astronauts," said Pat Patridge.