The California Science Center Foundation has announced the route for “Mission 26: ET Comes Home,” the journey of the external tank (ET-94) used in space shuttle missions.
The tank is being shipped from the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans through the Panama Canal to Los Angeles. It will be pulled by a truck along streets to its final destination near the California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Pavilion. The journey will take six to eight weeks. ET-94 is expected to arrive around May 21.
Larger and longer than Space Shuttle Endeavour, ET-94 was the orbiter’s massive gas tank. It contained the propellants used by the space shuttle’s main engines. The tank, the only major, non-reusable part of the space shuttle, is neither as wide as Endeavour (32 feet versus 78 feet) nor as high (35 feet versus 56 feet), which will result in fewer utilities impacted on the trip to the California Science Center. No trees will be removed along route from Marina Del Rey to Exposition Park. The journey along streets to the Science Center is expected to take 13-18 hours.
“With the transfer of ET-94 from NASA, we will have the ability to preserve and display an entire stack of flight hardware, making the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center an even more compelling educational experience,” said California Science Center President Jeffrey N. Rudolph. “With the same outpouring of community support we saw with the arrival of Endeavour, we look forward to celebrating this gift from NASA as it journeys from the coast through city streets to the California Science Center.”
The donation of this never-used artifact from NASA is significant, Rudolph added, and allows the Science Center to fulfill its vision of building a full “stack” for Space Shuttle Endeavour’s final display in the launch position.
The California Science Center is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive. For information, call (323)SCIENCE or visit www.californiasciencecenter.org.
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