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  Space Center Houston: High-fidelity space shuttle mockup (formerly Explorer) (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   Space Center Houston: High-fidelity space shuttle mockup (formerly Explorer)
MB
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From: Olmsted Falls, Ohio U.S.A.
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posted 04-16-2011 08:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MB   Click Here to Email MB     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What are the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's plans for the shuttle replica Explorer?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 04-16-2011 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Explorer will be moving from where it sits now; whether that is to somewhere else on property at the Visitor Complex or to some other destination is still to be decided.

Cliff Lentz
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posted 04-23-2011 11:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The nice aspect of "Explorer" is that it is a walk through replica so you can get an idea of how big the inside of the orbiter is. I'm sure that nobody will get that type of access in any of the orbiters. This would perfect for any of the facilities that didn't get chosen. I'm not sure if Houston has such an exhibit, but that would be my choice.

isaacada1
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posted 10-05-2011 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for isaacada1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In this report from the LA Times, there is talks underway to move the Explorer, a full-scale mock-up shuttle, from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida to Space Center Houston at Johnson Space Center. Anyone else know of articles about this development?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-05-2011 02:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, we (collectSPACE) were the first to confirm and report Explorer's move to Space Center Houston earlier this week.
Houston was not among the four locations NASA chose for a space shuttle display but plans are getting underway there to exhibit a full-size walkthrough orbiter and to build a new 8,000 sq. foot facility to highlight the space shuttle program.

Explorer, a full-scale space shuttle replica that for years has been on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, will be moved to Space Center Houston. The lot it leaves vacant in Florida will be filled by a new facility to display shuttle Atlantis...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-07-2011 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Explorer will be moved from NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to the Launch Complex 39 turn basin on Sunday, Dec. 11, beginning as early as 7 a.m. EST.

As earlier reported, The full-scale shuttle model is being transferred to Space Center Houston. Explorer will temporarily stay at the turn basin until it is transported via barge to Texas sometime in the next several months.

The move helps clear the way for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to begin building a new facility next year to display space shuttle Atlantis in 2013.

KSCartist
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From: Titusville, FL USA
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posted 12-07-2011 07:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will they have to remove its wings to fit into the barge?

Cozmosis22
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posted 12-07-2011 08:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Would put the fuselage inside the huge old ET barge... disconnect and put the wings in there too as there may be room.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-07-2011 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A nice idea but the Pegasus barge is no longer at Kennedy Space Center. It left for Stennis Space Center in November with the 15 remaining space shuttle main engines.

Pegasus will remain in Mississippi until its specific future use is determined.

JSC01
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From: Houston, Texas, USA
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posted 12-08-2011 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks like Sunday move of Explorer will be on NASA TV.
Video b-roll of the event will be available Monday on the NASA Television Video File.

p51
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posted 12-08-2011 08:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
A nice idea but the Pegasus barge is no longer at Kennedy Space Center.
Here I thought I missed out on the VAB portion of the tour when I was at KSC in September, but at least I got to see the barge and the Explorer as well...

Anyone know what's going to happen to the ET and SRBs? Seems like a great opportunity to display them with the Atlantis.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-08-2011 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The future of the ET/SRBs has yet to be decided but they will not be displayed with Atlantis.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 12-11-2011 06:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I shot photos yesterday of Explorer as it was being prepared for its move today.

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 12-11-2011 06:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
Anyone know what's going to happen to the ET and SRBs? Seems like a great opportunity to display them with the Atlantis.
They're being kept temporarily in a storage yard off Space Commerce Road. Space Center Houston has declined to take them, so KSCVC is looking for another home.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-11-2011 02:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE Photo Gallery
Mock shuttle moved to make way for the real thing

A static, full-scale space shuttle display did something unusual on Sunday morning (Dec. 11) — it moved.

Named Explorer, the 122.7-foot (37.4-meter) long shuttle replica was hoisted onto a wheeled transporter and trucked the 5.4 miles (8.7 kilometers) from NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to a turn basin adjacent to the 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building where real space shuttles were prepared for launch...

Cozmosis22
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posted 12-11-2011 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some GREAT pics of the Explorer "rollover" to the turn basin there Robert. The image looking from the Press Site with the VAB in the background is particularly nice!

JSC01
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From: Houston, Texas, USA
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posted 12-11-2011 04:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great pictures! Very much appreciate having them posted here. Anyone know why Space Center Houston did not take the ET and SRBs with Explorer?

From the articles, it sounds like Space Center Houston declined to take them. Can't understand that, they would look great at Talon park.

APG85
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posted 12-11-2011 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That is a VERY realistic looking replica. I wish they would display it indoors. Is there any info/pictures on its construction?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-11-2011 07:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by APG85:
I wish they would display it indoors.
Explorer was designed to be an outdoor exhibit. Unlike the real orbiters, which are covered in materials needing protection and cannot be easily repaired or replaced, Explorer can withstand exposure to the elements.
quote:
Is there any info/pictures on its construction?
You could try contacting Guard-Lee, which built Explorer in 1993.

Jay Chladek
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posted 12-11-2011 11:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I must say, the original constructors of Explorer did a very nice job (right down to the drag chute at the base of the tail). Too bad it couldn't have been wheeled over by the VAB temporarily for a comparison shot with one of the real orbiters.

Personally, I think Houston is coming out ahead on this one. Having a real orbiter is nice, but this is a very nice mockup in my opinion. Externally, it looks like the real thing and given that it is a purpose built mockup, it doesn't need the same climate controlled facility to house it.

I hope the ET and SRBs end up going somewhere. That is one of only two ETs left that are fully built (the other being part of Huntsville's Pathfinder exhibit) and it has a bit of a history itself.

If I remember correctly from my conversation with Scott Phillips, this ET was at one time on display inside a building at Marshall Space Flight Center. They had the LOX and LHX tanks separated. I remember seeing that specific ET on a tour when I went to Space Camp in 1985.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 12-12-2011 04:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Missed Explorer when I was at KSC in May, opting instead after our tour to do the Shuttle Launch Experience and Astronaut Encounter.

Is this a different wheeled transporter than what was at Vandenberg, then moved to KSC after West Coast shuttle launch operations were canceled?

AFGAS
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From: Merritt Island, FL
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posted 12-12-2011 05:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hart Sastrowardoyo:
Is this a different wheeled transporter than what was at Vandenberg, then moved to KSC after West Coast shuttle launch operations were canceled?
Yes it is.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-12-2011 06:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 144-wheel transporter used to move Explorer belonged to Beyel Bros. Crane and Rigging, the private heavy hauling crew hired by the visitor center.

sfurtaw
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posted 12-13-2011 04:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for sfurtaw   Click Here to Email sfurtaw     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed in Robert's pictures that the name "Explorer" has been removed. Does Space Center Houston plan on giving it a different name?

Jay Chladek
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posted 12-13-2011 04:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do they have to give it a name? I suppose they probably do since practically all the other "full size" orbiter mockups have names. I'm guessing they would probably have a naming contest when it arrives at Space Center Houston.

p51
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posted 12-13-2011 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sfurtaw:
I noticed in Robert's pictures that the name "Explorer" has been removed. Does Space Center Houston plan on giving it a different name?
Good eye, I didn't even notice that. Yeah, you have to wonder what the deal with that was. Heck, paint, "Daedalus" on the side of it!

Cozmosis22
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posted 12-13-2011 10:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not sure if it is still on display but a while back there was a bit of an orbiter mockup inside Space Center Houston which was named "Adventure."

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-14-2011 12:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Adventure is still on display; it is only a crew cabin mockup but you view inside the mid- and flight decks. It was built by the same company that built Explorer.

Explorer will renamed; details as to how will be forthcoming.

garymilgrom
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posted 12-14-2011 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't understand the desire to rename this vehicle.

But in a farewell to Explorer, here she is as seen in 2009 at KSC with my brother in the foreground.

explorer 400

JSC01
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From: Houston, Texas, USA
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posted 12-16-2011 10:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice article, apparently this week Chevron donated a large sum of money to support the transport of Explorer to Houston.
Chevron has presented Space Center Houston with a gift of $100,000 to help with the transportation of the Kennedy Space Center's Space Shuttle Explorer mockup to Clear Lake.

"Space Center Houston is an important part of our community and a place for children and adults to learn about the incredible impact our space program has had on our lives. We are pleased to support their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs, in addition to helping making this new addition possible."

onesmallstep
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posted 12-16-2011 04:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With Chevron paying the cost of its transport, maybe they have naming rights on the orbiter, just like a baseball park?

Greggy_D
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posted 12-16-2011 08:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep. Let me guess... it will be renamed the shuttle "Chevron".

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-17-2011 02:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To my knowledge, Chevron did not buy the naming rights to the replica shuttle with their generous donation.

NASA has published an article about what it took to move the mockup formally known as Explorer from the visitor complex to the turn basin.

Moving the high fidelity model of the space shuttle Dec. 10 called for an array of planning, about 100 people and a specialized trailer. It also called for the temporary removal of 18 light poles, four traffic signals and some signs.

It took the team about five hours to make the six-mile trip from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to the Turn Basin across the street from the Vehicle Assembly Building. The group started rolling at 7:30 a.m. so they wouldn't have to worry about the dark.

"It went very well," said Gerald "Jay" Green, project manager for the move. "I felt a great sense of accomplishment when we got it done."

Jay Chladek
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posted 12-17-2011 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know, they should re-name it "Excellent". So when you get the Space Center Houston, you can experience the "Excellent Adventure".

JSC01
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posted 12-20-2011 08:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Name change mystery solved, SCH already has a Shuttle named 'Explorer'.

In the play area, far right in this photo.

Rob Joyner
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posted 12-20-2011 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rob Joyner   Click Here to Email Rob Joyner     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wrote to SCH today about the name change and received the following:
The mock up shuttle "Explorer' from KSC will be displayed at Space Center Houston very soon. The name of the shuttle should stay the same.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-20-2011 09:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know who replied to you, but they were mistaken. I have it confirmed that the name change is indeed happening.

As far as being displayed "very soon," I guess it all depends on your definition of "soon." It is at least several months away.

ozspace
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posted 12-20-2011 09:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ozspace   Click Here to Email ozspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
The future of the ET/SRBs has yet to be decided but they will not be displayed with Atlantis.
I believe that the tank and boosters are going to join Endeavour at the California Science Center and the whole stack will be displayed vertically!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-20-2011 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, this was noted in the California Science Center: shuttle Endeavour topic as well.

JSC01
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posted 02-09-2012 08:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bulldozers and backhoes are working at SCH now. Appear to be removing the little 'hill' in front of the center in preparation for Explorer arrival.


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