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  Space Center Houston: High-fidelity space shuttle mockup (formerly Explorer) (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   Space Center Houston: High-fidelity space shuttle mockup (formerly Explorer)
JSC01
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From: Houston, Texas, USA
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posted 02-13-2012 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
New photo went up with the Space Center Houston Shuttle design:

JSC01
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posted 05-01-2012 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Per the Space Center Houston Facebook page, Explorer arrives June 1st!

dabolton
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posted 05-03-2012 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on that image, the walk-through of the crew cabin won't be open in the Houston display?

Atlantis
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posted 05-04-2012 07:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Atlantis   Click Here to Email Atlantis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looking closely, there appears to be a ramp leading up to the walk in area.

Fezman92
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posted 05-04-2012 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It does appear to be a ramp but I thought it was going to be indoors.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-04-2012 09:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The high fidelity space shuttle mockup formerly known as Explorer was built to be an outdoor display.

Space Center Houston is also building a new indoor space shuttle gallery, which will house artifacts like the Pad 39B orbiter access arm and white room, a Crew Compartment Trainer from the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility and a full size cargo bay and working robotic arm mockup used to train astronauts.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-04-2012 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few more details on the arrival schedule, via the local Hilton hotel.
The shuttle is being barged in from Florida for its 10 day journey, and will do a floating pass right in front of our hotel, and then sit right next door to us!

There will be a street closure celebration, all day Saturday (June 2), then depart early Sunday morning to its less than 1 mile trek to the Space Center for its newest attraction.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 05-05-2012 06:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Atlantis:
Looking closely, there appears to be a ramp leading up to the walk in area.
Explorer has two big doors on the starboard side, on the flight deck and mid-deck. At KSCVC, you walked up a gantry or used an elevator to get to each level.

It would be extremely stupid to display it without a gantry because then visitors would see these big boxy doors on the starboard side and wonder what the heck those are all about.

My guess is the Space Center Houston concept image on their Facebook page is from the port side to make you think it looks more real than it does. Although plenty of KSCVC guests thought it was the real thing, and wanted to know why NASA cut holes into the side of a national treasure for doors.

JSC01
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posted 05-05-2012 09:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm pretty sure the graphic is no longer accurate. Based on where they cleared land and are digging the footer, it looks like the actual spot is pushed a bit away from the building now. I have no idea how that will change the plans to tie Explorer to the building, or not. Either way, 'm sure the final exhibit will be beautiful.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-08-2012 03:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Center Houston release
Space Center Houston's Full-Size Space Shuttle Replica to arrive June 1

Plans underway for a weekend-long public "Shuttlebration" to mark its arrival

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.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-09-2012 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
High-fidelity space shuttle mockup to make Houston landing June 1

A space shuttle will launch later this month from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but rather than soar into the sky, it will set sail on the water.

The full-scale, high-fidelity space shuttle mockup, which was formerly known as "Explorer" for the 18 years it was displayed at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, will be loaded on a barge and leave the spaceport on May 20. Ten days later, it will arrive in Clear Lake near NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, starting a three day festival welcoming the winged display to Texas.

Beginning June 1, "Shuttlebration Weekend" will celebrate the past and future of NASA's crewed space exploration programs, culminating in a parade to deliver the replica to Space Center Houston, the official visitor center for JSC.

Bob Montanaro
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posted 05-20-2012 07:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Montanaro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know the date and time the barge will be taking the space shuttle replica (formerly known as Explorer) from Kennedy Space Center and through Port Canaveral on its way to Texas? It should make for a great photo opportunity as it heads out to sea. I heard the barge will not be leaving KSC May 20 as stated elsewhere.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 05-22-2012 11:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It finally showed up today. Don't know when it departs.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-22-2012 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
They are loading the mockup onto the barge this afternoon (when I pulled out the press site parking lot, they were in the process of putting down the ramps to drive the transporter onto the barge).

Last I heard, the barge backs away with the mockup at first light on Wednesday, but that is subject to many factors. If I hear more, especially if it is more definitive, I'll share.

JSC01
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posted 05-22-2012 08:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ahoy, Explorer is on the barge! Space Center Houston has several great photos on their Facebook page.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-23-2012 01:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The mockup, atop the barge, is still docked at the turn basin at Kennedy Space Center.

Workers needed to complete some additional welds to secure the shuttle to the deck, and the winds are just above the limit for safely passing under one of the bridges on the way out to the ocean.

According to NASA, if the barge hasn't left by 4 p.m. EDT today, it will stay the night and try again on Thursday morning.

Update: The winds are still too high and so the barge will depart tomorrow at dawn (approximately 6:30 a.m. EDT).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-24-2012 06:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Space shuttle replica sets sail for Houston

A full-size replica of the space shuttle departed NASA's Florida spaceport for the agency's Texas space center on Thursday morning (May 24), riding on an open air barge.

The high-fidelity space shuttle mockup, which was known as "Explorer" for the 18 years it was displayed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, will sail into Houston's Clear Lake on Friday, June 1.

APG85
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posted 05-24-2012 06:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's amazing how realistic looking this shuttle mockup is. I wish there were some pictures out there of it under construction...

Bob Montanaro
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posted 05-25-2012 12:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bob Montanaro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here are images of the high fidelity shuttle model taken from Jetty Park at Port Canaveral as the model heads to Texas, along with some images of its old exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-26-2012 09:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The space shuttle mockup on its barge is being towed by the tugboat Ross Sea. It's progress can be tracked here.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-29-2012 06:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Center Houston announcement
Shuttlebration

Join us for this historic occasion as we welcome Space Center Houston's biggest addition ever, a full size shuttle replica. The replica will arrive by barge on the shores of Clear Lake this Friday! To celebrate its arrival, we will host a FREE street party at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) dock located at 3000 NASA Parkway on Clear Lake near the Hilton.

Friday, June 1:

  • 2:00 p.m. — Event Area Open to Public

    Transportation to and from Johnson Space Center will begin. Street party area will include NASA space exploration exhibits, music and entertainment from 2 p.m. - 9 p.m.

  • 3-5:00 p.m — Shuttle Replica Arrives at NASA Dock with Fire Boat Water Arch

  • 4:30 p.m. — Welcome Ceremony and T-38 Flyover

  • 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. — Music by Max Q, the all Astronaut Band

  • 9:00 p.m. — Fireworks Display on Clear Lake

  • 10:00 p.m. — Final Tram Returns to Parking Area
Saturday, June 2:

The space shuttle replica will be loaded onto a mobile transfer vehicle for transport to SCH. The lakeside load-out will take a full day to complete. There are no public events planned for this day.

Sunday, June 3:

  • 5:00 - 8:00 a.m. — Replica transported along NASA Parkway from JSC dock to Space Center Houston. NASA Parkway and NASA 1 Bypass will be closed from 5 a.m. - 9 a.m.

  • 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. — Following the arrival, there will be a free, family-oriented public celebration in the Space Center Houston parking lot, offering viewing opportunities of the replica, NASA space exploration exhibits, fun activities for the entire family and much more. Discount admission to Space Center Houston is available online.
There will be no pets, coolers or outside food/beverages allowed in the event area.

No public parking is available at the event site.

Parking is available at the Gate 3 entrance of Johnson Space Center. Gate 3 is located off of Space Center Blvd., the entrance nearest to the Hilton.

Trams will transport guests to and from the Shuttlebration event area.

JSC01
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posted 05-30-2012 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some images of the SCH display plan from a model:

btguest
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posted 05-30-2012 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for btguest   Click Here to Email btguest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder if Space Center Houston will charge extra/separately for access to the shuttle or if the normal admission ticket will be sufficient to also see the orbiter on the inside.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-01-2012 05:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Space shuttle replica docks in Houston lake, launches 'Shuttlebration'

A full-scale replica of a NASA space shuttle came into dock on Friday (June 1), but rather than pull into an orbiting space station, it arrived at port in a Texas lake near the space agency's Houston space center.

The high-fidelity space shuttle mockup, which was known as "Explorer" for the 18 years it was at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, sailed into Houston's Clear Lake to a dock opposite the Johnson Space Center (JSC), where it will be offloaded for display.

"Though this is not a space flown orbiter," JSC director Michael Coats said, "it is the only one we know that is seaworthy."

GoesTo11
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posted 06-01-2012 06:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Earlier today on his Twitter feed, astronaut Greg Johnson (@Astro_Box) posted a couple of cool photos he took from the cockpit of a T-38 of "Explorer" on the barge. One of his followers commented, "Wow, they can land those things on a dime, can't they?"

Cozmosis22
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posted 06-01-2012 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some really nice pics there Robert. Especially like the ones with the "Pelican Port Patrol" trio in the foreground.

JSC01
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posted 06-01-2012 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those are beautiful, great photography. I was really impressed with the afternoon party. Tram ride in was easy, great music, lots of fun NASA booths for the kids. SCH did a great job. On to Sunday morning drive down NASA Road 1!

Greggy_D
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posted 06-01-2012 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why are the rear wheels turned 90 degrees?

GoesTo11
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posted 06-01-2012 11:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for GoesTo11   Click Here to Email GoesTo11     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering the same thing. I assume it was to mitigate any "roll" tension against its restraints in the event of less than smooth sailing.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-02-2012 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I want to say that the gear is positioned the way it is because they used the gear as the attach point for the welds holding the mockup to the barge, but I'll double check that...

Thanks for the compliments on the photos. I added several more this morning from the evening festivities and fireworks.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-03-2012 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Sunday drive: Space shuttle replica's road trip to Space Center Houston

A replica space shuttle went on a Sunday morning (June 3) road trip, making its way from the Houston, Texas lakeside dock where it arrived on Friday to the NASA visitor center where it will go on public display.

The one-mile (1.6-kilometer) trek was originally scheduled to take just three hours to complete, but obstacles along the way doubled that time. The mockup, loaded atop a 144-wheel transporter, was slowly and methodically trucked down NASA Parkway — also known as NASA Road 1 — to Space Center Houston, the official visitor center for the Johnson Space Center (JSC).

APG85
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posted 06-03-2012 08:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, that's a tight squeeze through some of those areas. I was involved with towing a C-130 to an Airpark down some base streets last year and we got hung up in some trees, had to remove light poles, traffic signs and lights, etc. I can sympathize!

JSC01
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posted 06-07-2012 02:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Stopped by today, shuttle looks absolutely beautiful. They mounted it and attached the wheels and cables. They appear to be taking down some of the brush, so we might have a nice view from the JSC entrance soon.

IconDesign29
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posted 06-07-2012 03:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for IconDesign29     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It looks excellent! I'm quite surprised by how quickly they got it in place and tied down. Although I have to admit that I wish they hadn't slid the PVC tubing over the bottoms of the cables as it stands out a lot and sort of takes your eye off the shuttle a little. Oh well, minor complaint.

All in all, it makes for a beautiful display and I have enjoyed seeing it going into work every morning this week! I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing it!

Cozmosis22
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posted 06-07-2012 04:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by IconDesign29:
I have to admit that I wish they hadn't slid the PVC tubing over the bottoms of the cables as it stands out a lot and sort of takes your eye off the shuttle a little.
Someone could fix that with can of black spray paint?

IconDesign29
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posted 06-08-2012 05:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for IconDesign29     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh no I don't think they'd do that. They save that for only the most critical things, like damaged Shuttle wings...

And besides, black plastic and Houston heat don't go together very well.


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