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  Space Center Houston: Independence Plaza (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   Space Center Houston: Independence Plaza
Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-14-2014 01:57 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 sev8n:
Can anyone provide a link or reference?
The story has yet to be told online; it involves a number of players (including, in a not so insignificant way, collectSPACE). At some point, I plan to write an article.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 08-18-2014 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Houston, you can see a space shuttle from here

Exiting the interstate onto the parkway, drivers first catch view of it — its iconic black-and-white tail protruding over the trees.

It is not every day you see a space shuttle on your daily commute. Although now, for a good many Houstonians, it is.

When Space Center Houston mounted its full-size space shuttle replica on top of NASA's historic Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet, it didn't only advance its plans for a new $12 million public attraction, it also changed the skyline in and around the city's Clear Lake community.

Now, you really can see a space shuttle from here...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-09-2014 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Galveston County Daily News reports that a second man has been charged in connection with the November vandalism of Space Center Houston's replica space shuttle.
Justin Michael Purdy, 20, of Friendswood, was arrested Tuesday and charged with graffiti, a class A misdemeanor. Bond was set at $1,000.

SpaceAngel
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posted 03-02-2015 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anyone know when is the opening day of this exhibit?

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 03-02-2015 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A specific opening date is not yet set; there is a target opening of this fall.

Work is just beginning now on the access tower that will allow guests to enter both the SCA and orbiter mid- and flight deck levels.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-17-2015 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This recent aerial image (a still from a video) shows construction has begun on the tower that will provide guests access to both the aircraft and orbiter.

SpaceAngel
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posted 05-17-2015 01:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glad to see the progress of the SCA and Independence; the engines of the 747 will be installed, am I correct?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-17-2015 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The plan is display the SCA with four engines installed. To date, Space Center Houston has only been able to source two.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-20-2015 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good news! Engines three and four have been sourced and have arrived at Space Center Houston.

onesmallstep
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posted 07-20-2015 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good to hear. By "sourced," are the four engines taken off former airliners that are derelict, retired or through a parts dealer? Even though they will never turn over again, I am curious to see how complete and authentic curators wanted to keep the engines for display.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-20-2015 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More details may be available soon, but two came from NASA, one from an airline and the other from a manufacturer.

dabolton
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posted 07-20-2015 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What happened to the 4 engines the carrier landed with at Ellington? Why the need to source other engines.

APG85
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posted 07-21-2015 04:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for APG85     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If I'm not mistaken, part of demilling an aircraft usually involves taking the serviceable engines off (and returning them to service or storage for future use) and replacing them with non-serviceable engines on the display aircraft.

ea757grrl
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posted 07-21-2015 06:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aircraft engines with time left on them are very valuable/useful commodities, especially in the case of older aircraft (like the JT9Ds used on first-generation 747s). When an aircraft is retired for display, it's standard practice to remove the "good" engines for return to service, and replace them with non-functioning engines that will work fine for display purposes. Hence the engine swap on NASA 905.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-30-2015 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The steel frame is now going up that will form the elevator and stair tower:

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-12-2015 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Launch date set for Space Center Houston shuttle carrier aircraft attraction

The countdown is on to the launch of a new eight-story-tall attraction dedicated to the history of NASA's space shuttle and the jumbo jet that was used to ferry the fleet of winged spacecraft across the country.

Space Center Houston, which serves as the visitor center for the NASA Johnson Space Center, has announced Jan. 23, 2016 as the opening date for Independence Plaza, its new $12 million complex featuring a full size replica of the shuttle orbiter mounted on top of the historic first Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA).

"Completing Independence Plaza is the result of years of planning," Richard Allen, the president and CEO of Space Center Houston, said in a statement. "Thanks to hundreds of supporters, this incredible exhibit will challenge visitors to think about innovation and creativity."

JSC01
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posted 08-12-2015 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Awesome! Even while the construction is ongoing and the engines are off, it's incredible to stand in front of this display. Houston is really fortunate to have this, and whomever thought of putting the high fidelity mockup on top of the 747 should get a high award. We can't wait for the opening.

I heard the satellite cradle in the payload bay is actually flown hardware. Is that accurate? I hope other flight hardware can be laced into the display...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 08-12-2015 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, it is the Intelsat satellite cradle that flew on the maiden flight of space shuttle Endeavour in 1992.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 09-25-2015 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Status photo (credit Space Center Houston):

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-23-2015 03:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Update from Space Center Houston:
Reattaching the engines of a 747 shuttle carrier aircraft is no small feat, but all four engines are now attached thanks to Kalitta Air's generous donation of one complete engine and the parts to attach the other three engines!

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-12-2015 07:52 AM     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
Independence Plaza special airs Nov. 21

Innovative thinking turned an impossible dream into reality. Plenty of ingenuity and perseverance led to the creation of both the shuttle carrier aircraft program and the newest international landmark, Independence Plaza.

Discover the history and story behind Space Center Houston's newest exhibit in a 30-minute special airing at 7 p.m. Nov. 21 on Houston's KHOU television station.

Hosted by Deborah Duncan, "Independence Plaza: Innovation at Work" will go behind the scenes inside the world's only exhibit complex, where visitors soon will enter both the high-fidelity shuttle replica Independence and the shuttle carrier aircraft NASA 905, on which it is mounted.

Get a sneak peek at the incredible exhibits and learn why Houston, the state of Texas and the world are about to experience a one-of-a-kind attraction.

Be sure to join us for the grand opening of Independence Plaza on Jan. 23.

Cozmosis22
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posted 01-10-2016 12:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Have noted the daily ticket price, $24.95, is the same online as at the door. Is there any particular reason to buy ahead of time? Plan to make it down there for the opening a couple of weeks from now but not 100% sure.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-10-2016 02:37 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 offers through its Facebook page and newsletter discount codes for tickets purchased online. Buying tickets online and printing them can also save you time waiting in line at the box office (with the opening of Independence Plaza, the lines may be longer than normal).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-18-2016 01:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Astronauts and skydivers to help celebrate Houston 747-shuttle exhibit opening

The countdown is on to the grand opening of Houston's newest landmark — a $12 million, eight story tall attraction dedicated to the largest single artifact saved from NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.

Independence Plaza, featuring the space agency's original Shuttle Carrier Aircraft — a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet — topped by a full-scale model of a space shuttle orbiter, will open on Saturday (Jan. 23) at Space Center Houston, the visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center. A full day of special activities will celebrate the attraction, which has been almost four years in the making.

"Join us Saturday, when the colossal new Independence Plaza opens with fireworks, skydivers, astronauts, hands-on science activities and live presentations," Space Center Houston announced on its website.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-22-2016 12:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Bigger on the inside: First look at Houston's new 747-shuttle exhibit (photos)

A large sign outside the entrance to Space Center Houston promotes the six-story-tall centerpiece of the new Independence Plaza as "bigger on the inside."

Starting on Saturday (Jan. 23), the public will have a chance to see for themselves as general boarding begins of the largest single artifact saved from NASA's space shuttle program: the original Boeing 747 jumbo jet that ferried the shuttle orbiters across the country between missions. Making the 8-story-tall exhibit even bigger is the addition of a full-size space shuttle replica.

"It is a world-class [exhibit]," said Frank Marlow, who was among the NASA pilots who flew the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. "It was such an honor to fly it."

DeepSea
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posted 01-22-2016 06:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DeepSea     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Looks great.

astro-nut
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posted 01-23-2016 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for astro-nut   Click Here to Email astro-nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Can't wait to see some great photos from this event. Very disappointed that NASA TV did not provide live coverage of the ceremony and this event.

SpaceAngel
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posted 01-23-2016 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What happened to the tail cone that was supposed to be attached behind the orbiter's main engines?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-23-2016 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A replica tailcone may be added in the future.

Of the two tailcones used during the program, one is attached to OV-101 Enterprise and the other was scrapped by NASA.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-23-2016 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Mission accomplished! 747-space shuttle exhibit launches in Houston

Under a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished," Space Center Houston officials celebrated on Saturday (Jan. 23) the opening of Independence Plaza, a new $12 million exhibit featuring NASA's historic space shuttle-carrying jumbo jet topped by a full-size mock-up of the iconic winged orbiters.

With astronauts in attendance and flag-carrying skydivers having just landed nearby, the officials counted down to a spectacular daytime fireworks display to launch the eight-story-tall exhibit and welcome the public to begin boarding both vehicles.

"With the ability to walk through both air [and spacecraft], you will experience a behind-the-scenes look at life in the shuttle era," said Richard Allen, the president and CEO of Space Center Houston. "It is a visitor experience that can't be found be found anywhere else in the world."

Cozmosis22
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posted 01-26-2016 01:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was great day that started out with a rather cold morning in Houston. Arrived about 45 minutes before the opening ceremony and the temperature was 39* F. As the festivities began there were maybe a couple of hundred visitors and VIPs in attendance.

The view from the driveway into the parking lot area seemed the most impressive. The exhibit is absolutely beautiful.

The main outdoor ceremony was at 8:25 and by the time that Space Center Houston opened at 9:00 more and more people began arriving. Walk through tours of the SCA began at 10:00 and the timed-ticket tours of the orbiter began at 11:00.

It has been suggested that rear engines cover may be installed in the future. I like it as it is, but maybe with one slight change. Would paint the outer openings on the main engines and OMS pods a deep red.

Realize that red rocket motor coverings were not used during transport however it would not be the only anomaly in the presentation. The forward mounting attachment point is altered probably to provide added long term stability to the orbiter perched atop the SCA.

Congratulations to all at Space Center Houston who contributed to producing this world-class exhibit. Would definitely recommend that a visit to Independence Plaza be on everyone's bucket list.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 01-26-2016 02:36 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 Cozmosis22:
The forward mounting attachment point is altered probably to provide added long term stability to the orbiter perched atop the SCA.
As I understand it, the mounting was done in such a manner to account for the differences in construction of the mockup and to level the orbiter atop the SCA. Since people are walking through the orbiter, its floors needed to be a level surface.

JSC01
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posted 05-16-2016 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The orbiter access arm and white room from launch pad 39B have been on display at SCH on Independence Plaza. Until recently it's been sealed, but over the weekend I noticed it's now open for a walk through. The inside white room is now a very nice display. It's pretty amazing to walk the same path the crews did before they climbed onboard the orbiter.


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