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'Shuttlebration' planned for arrival of shuttle replica at Space Center Houston

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Space Center Houston is getting ready for the arrival of a full-size replica of a space shuttle this weekend.

The barge carrying the shuttle replica is about 150 miles or so off of Galveston. It's expected to arrive to Clear Lake on Friday, and the museum and its neighbors are getting ready for what they are calling a "Shuttlebration."

In a bare field next to Space Center Houston, workers are putting the last touches on a series of concrete pillars. This is where the full-size replica of the space shuttle will rest, once it gets here.

Richard Allen with Space Center Houston said, "It's about 130 feet long. From the ground to the tip of the tail is about 57 feet and the wingspan is 78 feet."

The replica is coming by water, on a barge from Florida. The new addition is something visitors both very young and those old enough to have followed the space program are looking forward to.

Alex Thomas, age 4, said, "The rocket shuttle is some kind of place like they start the rocket and blast off."

"We're in our 60s now, it started in our youth, our early adulthood," said visitor Lesley Petherick.

But getting the replica to the museum is tricky. That effectively locks in the people who live in the neighborhood behind the Hilton, but they don't seem to mind.

"We realize somebody has to put up with the traffic and the noise, but we're more than glad to do that," said neighbor Frank Muffeneny.

In fact, plenty of parties are planned in this quiet neighborhood and the only criticism here isn't about the weekend traffic.

"I really think we should have gotten one of the other vehicles," Muffeneny said.

Shuttlebration schedule of events:

Friday, June 1:

* 2:00 PM - 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 2pm - 9pm.
* 3-5:00 PM Shuttle Replica Arrives at NASA Dock with Fire Boat Water Arch
* 4:30 PM Welcome Ceremony & T-38 Flyover
* 6:30 - 8:30 Music by Max Q, the all Astronaut Band
9:00 PM Fireworks Display on Clear Lake
10:00 PM Final Tram Returns to Parking Area
* Schedule subject to change

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 AM - Replica transported along NASA Parkway from JSC dock to Space Center Houston. NASA Parkway and NASA 1 Bypass will be closed from 5 AM - 9 AM
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM - 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.

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Tags:
nasa, johnson space center, shuttle, local, adela uchida
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