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Author Topic:   Space Center Houston: Shuttle and 747 Carrier
Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-02-2013 05:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Houston museum to top historic NASA jet with mock space shuttle

They say that everything is bigger in Texas and that certainly goes for Space Center Houston's newly-announced space shuttle exhibit.

Space Center Houston, which serves as the official visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center, revealed plans on Thursday (May 2) to display its full-size space shuttle mockup atop the historic jumbo jetliner that ferried the real orbiters after their return from space and delivered them to their museum homes.

NASA transferred ownership of its original Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), a modified Boeing 747 jet, to Space Center Houston on Thursday, setting in motion the visitor center's plans to pair the replica shuttle it received last June with the airplane that landed in Houston five months later.

MrSpace86
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posted 05-02-2013 06:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love the concept. It would be awesome if an addition to the Saturn V building could be constructed and house both of them side by side!

Any word on if they will add the tail cone? In the concept photos they have the engines exposed.

JSC01
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posted 05-02-2013 07:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Fantastic! I think this is an ingenious plan. This should complete the nation's shuttle experiences: launch - Endeavour/California, in-flight - Atlantis/Florida, wheels down - Discovery/Smithsonian.

Now we can add ferry-flight transit to the viewing experiences.

It will be fun year watching to see how the transport and logistics for building the final vehicle stack unfolds... Kudos to Space Center Houston!

Ronpur
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posted 05-03-2013 10:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
She does need that second tailcone! Looks like a nation wide shuttle tour someday. I better start saving my money.

onesmallstep
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posted 05-03-2013 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for onesmallstep   Click Here to Email onesmallstep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey! Don't forget Enterprise at the Intrepid museum in NY It should still be re-opening in its 'main-wheel touchdown, nose gear still up' landing configuration soon.

p51
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posted 05-03-2013 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I love this!

So happy to see a SCA get preserved like this, I assumed they'd both get gutted for the SOFIA project even after 905 went to Houston.

Should be interesting to see it towed from Ellington...

Jay Chladek
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posted 05-05-2013 08:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Good grief. This is dang cool, but logistically it is going to be a major challenge to pull off. For starters, how do they plan on getting the SCA from Ellington to JSC? Only way I could see it would be to remove the wings, but trucking that fuselage over land is going to be a larger feat than it was to move Endeavour over land in Los Angeles.

I also anticipate there would need to be some additional reinforcement in the main attachment struts to properly anchor the orbiter mockup to the 747 so the pair can survive a potential direct strike from a hurricane intact (the mockup should be fine, but not sure about a 747 given what the humid gulf moisture air could do to its structure after a few years). Granted the mockup likely weighs less than a flight orbiter, but at the same time I don't think the structural reinforcements were designed with having the 747 having something on top out in the elements for a few years either.

Still, if this can be pulled off, it will make for an incredible display. And combined with the California Science Center's planned display of Endeavour in launch stack configuration... it would indeed make for quite a tour of all shuttles.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-05-2013 08:46 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 Jay Chladek:
For starters, how do they plan on getting the SCA from Ellington to JSC?
Quoting from the article linked above:
To get the aircraft to the visitor center, its wings and tail will be removed, and its fuselage will be sectioned in three.

The jumbo jet is expected to be in place at Space Center Houston by this November. The work to hoist the 130,000-pound (60,000-kilogram) shuttle mockup atop the airplane will follow during the first quarter of 2014.

Before the model orbiter leaves the ground however, it will need to undergo some repairs and modifications, including the installation of attachment hardware to mount it on the back of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

Work to remove NASA 905's engines, which are being returned to Boeing, begins this month. The engines will be replaced for display with mockups.

The work to repair and prepare the space shuttle mockup to be moved is also underway. Panels underneath the model orbiter, including where the attach points would be, have been removed, as this photo taken today shows.

Ronpur
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posted 05-06-2013 08:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When are they going to announce the new name of the mock up shuttle?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-06-2013 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There were some early plans to name the mockup just after it arrived in Houston, but they were put on hold (perhaps because of this plan coming together). I suspect they'll resume the process of naming the replica as the new display proceeds.

JSC01
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posted 05-06-2013 11:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I could be wrong, but I thought those rectangular holes under Explorer were there since the barge trip. I was wondering when/if they would be repaired...

Does the starboard wing stay attached in the display? I can't really tell in the graphics, and it looks to be a very tight fit.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-06-2013 11:47 AM     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 JSC01:
I thought those rectangular holes under Explorer were there since the barge trip.
You're right, as seen in this photo from the road trip from the dock to Space Center Houston. I've been told though, that work inside has begun.
quote:
Does the starboard wing stay attached in the display?
I haven't heard anything to suggest the wing will be left off, but I'll inquire.

Update: Per Space Center Houston, when the exhibit opens in 2015, both wings (and all other components) will be intact on NASA 905.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-06-2013 12:07 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 Ronpur:
She does need that second tailcone!
According to the exhibit planners, the tailcone is currently being considered.

Greggy_D
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posted 05-06-2013 03:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Greggy_D   Click Here to Email Greggy_D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Do they plan on modifying or removing the entrance box on the starboard side of the orbiter?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-06-2013 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I understand no, as it will be in use. And just as it was at Kennedy, the integrated "white room" will be mostly hidden from view by the access gantry.

JSC01
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posted 05-07-2013 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently there is a museum 747 display in Germany, where they also had to remove wings, tail, etc. for transport. Pretty impressive, it's displayed quite a bit elevated. Looks like public has access.

There is a very nice video on this page (in German!) that documents the 747 transport and hoisting into position with cranes. I expect we'll soon see something similar happening at SCH.

ea757grrl
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posted 05-07-2013 09:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ea757grrl   Click Here to Email ea757grrl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Anyone who's been to the Reagan Library has seen a similar job of reassembly, though on a 707 instead of a 747. That's how SAM 27000 was brought to the Library site; though the fuselage wasn't cut into sections, the wings and tailplanes were removed for transport, and the airplane was reassembled in the Air Force One Pavilion. The pictures of the disassembled SAM 27000 with its wings shorn made me a little sad, but now you can't tell it ever happened, and the exhibit looks gorgeous.

I'm hoping NASA 905 will benefit from similarly skilled hands and, once reassembled, you'll never be able to tell it was ever taken apart. I look forward to seeing for myself someday soon.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-01-2013 02:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Houston's space shuttle to get new name in contest open to Texans

Florida has Atlantis, California is home to Endeavour, Virginia displays Discovery and New York has Enterprise. Texas has a space shuttle, too — a full-scale, high-fidelity mockup of the NASA winged vehicles — but what the Lone Star State's orbiter doesn't have is a name.

Beginning Thursday (July 4), Space Center Houston will seek Texans' help to correct that by launching its "Name the Shuttle" contest. The official visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center, Space Center Houston is looking for an "original name that symbolizes the spirit of Texas and its unique characteristics of independence, optimism and can-do attitude."

...the "Name the Shuttle" contest, which starts at 10:00 a.m. CDT (1500 GMT) on Independence Day, will run through Sept. 2. Beginning on Thursday, Texas residents can visit the website www.NameTheShuttle.com for contest details and to submit their ideas for what to name the orbiter.

Ronpur
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posted 07-01-2013 09:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Cool poster! I wonder if they will sell them? I hope for Constitution, what Enterprise was to be named originally.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 07-03-2013 07:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since I'm not a Texas resident, I'll suggest they name the shuttle Alamo. Not only as a tie-in to Texas history and a name standing for bravery and all that, but they could get the car rental agency to sponsor the exhibit....

JSC01
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posted 07-03-2013 11:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A part of me wishes they were not renaming the Shuttle, as you would not re-name Atlantis or Endeavour. 'Explorer' had a name. But if they must rename her, I hope it's after a famous exploration sailing ship, as per how the 'real' shuttles were named. This should be a fun contest for Texas students, especially the lucky winner!

Go4Launch
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posted 07-03-2013 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yeah that's good. But a Texas shuttle should be named Billy Bob or Bubba.

jklier
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posted 07-03-2013 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jklier   Click Here to Email jklier     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm going to submit "Consolation" for the name. Yes, I'm still bitter.

All kidding aside, I'm looking forward to seeing the display when it's done. I'm sure it will be a nice addition.

328KF
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posted 07-03-2013 03:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jklier:
I'm going to submit "Consolation" for the name. Yes, I'm still bitter.
That is a classic!

racso184
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posted 07-03-2013 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for racso184   Click Here to Email racso184     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering if Columbia or Challenger can be used in the process. Those are great names and can also be used to honor the originals.

sev8n
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posted 07-03-2013 06:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sev8n     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Since it will be at/next to JSC I suppose they could name it Johnson. Okay, maybe not...

How about Constitution, the original name for OV-101 before the Trekkies petitioned to rename it Enterprise?

On edit: Sorry ronpur, I didn't see you had already suggested this.

canyon42
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posted 07-03-2013 06:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for canyon42   Click Here to Email canyon42     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"Constitution" would be good. I like "Liberty," too. Or maybe "Friendship," since that word is the Texas state motto. Not to be confused with Friendship 7, of course, but it's not like there's no precedent for multiple craft with the same (or similar names): Endeavor/Endeavour, Columbia, and Challenger.

Or how about "Yellow Rose"?

JSC01
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posted 07-03-2013 06:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In keeping with the sailing ship theme, I'm partial to 'Endurance'. Ernest Shackleton!

Jay Chladek
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posted 07-03-2013 08:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hmmm, lets see:

How about a name like Sam Houston or Dave Hill (a member of the Flying Tigers in WW2 and first commander of the Texas ANG)? Alamo is a good name, although this IS a Houston attraction rather than San Antonio. San Jacinto perhaps? Armadillo... Turkey Buzzard...?

Actually, checking the history of Texas terms, I think I've found the perfect one... I'll reveal it tomorrow AFTER submitting it. Okay, so maybe I don't CURRENTLY live in Texas, but I grew up there and have family living there (so maybe I qualify).

As for Columbia or Challenger... naw, I don't think so. Besides, the spirit of what once was Columbia resides in a nice little museum in Hemphill, Texas. I've been there and while it is small, it is a great facility and tribute to the "can do" attitude of both the space program and Texans.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-03-2013 08:33 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 Jay Chladek:
Okay, so maybe I don't CURRENTLY live in Texas, but I grew up there and have family living there (so maybe I qualify).
Sorry, but the contest is only open to legal residents of Texas at the time of entry.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
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posted 07-03-2013 10:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, in keeping with the Star Trek theme - not necessarily Texas history - there is Farragut. Since the first one was supposed to be Constitution, which became Enterprise... Farragut is NCC-1702, according to Franz Joseph, the next in line numerically after Constitution and Enterprise.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-04-2013 11:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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Name Texas' space shuttle: Space Center Houston launches contest

Texans have a new freedom to celebrate this Independence Day: the opportunity to name a full-size model of a NASA space shuttle, which will become part of a major new Houston attraction in 2017.

Beginning today (July 4) at 10:00 a.m. CDT (1500 GMT), residents from across the Lone Star State can go to the website www.NameTheShuttle.com to suggest names for the space shuttle orbiter mockup. Space Center Houston, the visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center, will pick one lucky Texan's entry for the christening of the 123 foot long (37 meter) replica.

Ronpur
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posted 07-04-2013 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is new to me:
When NASA first set about to name its fleet of orbiters, its committee recommended 15 names that had a "significant relationship to the heritage of the United States or to the shuttle's mission of exploration." Among these monikers were names were "Adventurer," "Prospector," "Freedom" and "Liberty."
I have been googling for hours, but can't find anything. What were those 15 names? Anyone know? I remember a Entex model kit that came with Enterprise and Kitty Hawk names. But, beside Constitution, never heard of any other potential names.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-04-2013 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the list per a May 26, 1978 memo from the Associate Administrator for Space Transportation Systems (John Yardley) to the Director, Public Affairs on the subject: Recommended Orbiter Names.
Recommendations by an ad hoc committee on names for Space Shuttle Orbiters; chose "names having significant relationship to the heritage of the United States or to the Shuttle's mission of exploration."

Recommended List of Orbiter Names
(In descending order of preference)

  1. Constitution
  2. Independence
  3. America
  4. Constellation
  5. Enterprise [reserved for possible 5th orbiter, to carry on OV-101's name]
  6. Discoverer
  7. Endeavour
  8. Liberty
  9. Freedom
  10. Eagle
  11. Kitty Hawk
  12. Pathfinder
  13. Adventurer
  14. Prospector
  15. Peace
Source: OV-102: Space shuttle Kitty Hawk?

jklier
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posted 07-05-2013 09:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jklier   Click Here to Email jklier     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Recommended List of Orbiter Names
I'd be happy with any of the top four.

dabolton
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posted 07-05-2013 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suggest giving them historical names is appropriate.

Shepard
Grissom
Glenn
Carpenter
Shirra
Cooper
Slayton

SpaceKSCBlog
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posted 07-06-2013 05:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceKSCBlog   Click Here to Email SpaceKSCBlog     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was Explorer here at KSC, dunno why they feel they have to change the name (other than to erase where it came from).

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-06-2013 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I understand, the decision to remove the name "Explorer" was done at the order of Kennedy Space Center (not the visitor complex, but NASA itself).

JSC01
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posted 07-07-2013 11:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert can you elaborate at all? I did notice the letters were stripped off before she was put on the barge. But I can't fathom why anyone at KSC would order a name change. Just curious.

Most seem to think it was a SCH choice, which goes along with the contest idea... which is just fine and a nice way to boost publicity.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-07-2013 11:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't have any other details, other than what I shared.

I can speculate on reasons, but instead I'll inquire and see what else I can learn.


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