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[b]Space Center Houston's Full-Size Space Shuttle Replica to arrive June 1[/b]
[i]Plans underway for a weekend-long public "Shuttlebration" to mark its arrival[/i]
Sharing the ongoing story of human space exploration is about to get a major boost with a new Space Shuttle visitor experience coming soon to Space Center Houston. The full-scale Shuttle Orbiter replica is set to arrive on June 1, kicking off "Shuttlebration Weekend" to celebrate the opening of a new era in space exploration, outreach and education.
"NASA's Space Shuttle changed the way we all think about space, making it more accessible, understandable and useful," said Richard Allen, president of Space Center Houston. "It is our intent to continue that legacy with this exciting new attraction, which will offer a one-of-a-kind visitor experience that will engage, educate and inspire the next generation of explorers."
Once it is fully installed and prepared for visitors, the public will be able to go inside the full-size replica as part of a behind-the-scenes look at life inside the Space Shuttle, an experience that will only be available at Space Center Houston.
"Shuttlebration Weekend" begins on the afternoon of Friday, June 1, when the replica will arrive by barge at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) NASA Road 1 dock on Clear Lake near the Nassau Bay Hilton hotel. This will be the largest item to arrive at the dock since the Saturn V arrived for display in 1977.
The public is invited to a free street party between the dock and the hotel to witness and celebrate the historic arrival. The street party will include exhibits and static displays of new technologies and space vehicles that are being developed for the future of exploration, as well as local marching bands, food and entertainment.
On Saturday, June 2, the Space Shuttle replica will be loaded onto a mobile transfer vehicle for transport to Space Center Houston. The lakeside load-out will take a full day to complete. No public events are planned.
Early in the morning on Sunday, June 3, the replica will make a three-hour trek down NASA Road 1 from the Hilton to its permanent home at Space Center Houston. It will receive a futuristic VIP escort from JSC's prototype planetary rovers for future solar system exploration. Upon the replica's arrival, Space Center Houston, along with the Johnson Space Center, will host a free public celebration in its parking lot from 9 a.m. to noon. The family-oriented event will include more opportunities to see the Shuttle attraction up close, and to get a look at the latest ongoing developments in space exploration taking place at JSC.
"The arrival of the Space Shuttle attraction is the result of a great community-wide effort," said Michael Coats, Director of the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC). "Once open, the attraction will carry on the spirit of the Space Shuttle program by inspiring tomorrow's space pioneers."
Plans are still in progress for all of the "Shuttlebration Weekend" activities. Visit spacecenter.org for the latest information.
Following "Shuttlebration Weekend," the Space Shuttle replica will remain in Space Center Houston's parking lot while the permanent display venue is being completed. The long-term vision calls for a world-class education center to be built around the orbiter that provides historical context and a hands-on educational experience.
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