Author Topic: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit  (Read 32072 times)

Offline collectSPACE

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NASA's last space shuttle external tank to complete Endeavour L.A. exhibit
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-052815a-external-tank-et94-endeavour.html

It's a sight no one thought possible again: a complete NASA space shuttle the winged orbiter, twin rocket boosters and a massive external tank, all authentic hardware standing vertical as if the vehicle was about to blast off for space.

But come 2018, that's exactly what the California Science Center will be able to display, thanks to a newly-revealed agreement by NASA to donate its last remaining fuel tank built to launch the space shuttle.

"The ability to preserve an entire stack of flight hardware will make the [center's new] Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center an even more compelling educational experience," said Jeffrey Rudolph, president and CEO of the California Science Center, in an interview with collectSPACE. "It will allow future generations to experience and understand the science and engineering of the space shuttle."


Related photo gallery: NASA's last remaining space shuttle external tank (ET-94)

Previous discussion of ET-94's fate: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29999.0

Offline Hog

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #1 on: 05/28/2015 02:11 PM »
I'm glad that this LWT will be put on display somewhere rather than simply decomposing on its wheeled carrier in a parking lot.

Will SSP T&R funds be used to replace componentry onto ET-94?

The changes from Sept 2012 until May 2015 are marked.  That has to be a record amount of time for the ET's TPS to be exposed to the UV and other environmental factors. 

I assume that the tank wasn't stored in its typical N2 purged state?

I am still in awe that these tanks were essentially filled with cryogenic fluids making the tank weigh 1,687,000lbs at launch. It had an Orbiter and 2 SRBs attached to it, which accelerated man and machine from 0-17,500mph in 510 seconds. With the tank running dry at or about MECO on many occasions. 

Awesome machinery.
Paul

Offline psloss

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #2 on: 05/28/2015 03:01 PM »
Will SSP T&R funds be used to replace componentry onto ET-94?
The museum is likely to be on the hook for most/all of the work.  It's probably been a couple of fiscal years since any Shuttle-related money was appropriated.  Not sure there are any funds left over.

The changes from Sept 2012 until May 2015 are marked.  That has to be a record amount of time for the ET's TPS to be exposed to the UV and other environmental factors. 
It's going to be outdoors for a while longer before the barge trip, but I don't believe the tank was moved outside immediately after being returned to horizontal (there is at least one image from 2013 on L2, IIRC).

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #3 on: 05/28/2015 03:31 PM »
Will SSP T&R funds be used to replace componentry onto ET-94?

Most of the feed line and attach point hardware is already at the California Science Center, having previously been donated by NASA for use with the center's planned (but never built) replica tank. The remaining pieces will be handed over with ET-94 and then the science center will be responsible for their installation.

Some cosmetic repairs (foam reapplication) will completed before ET-94 leaves the dock at Michoud. The science center did not provide details as to how that is being handled.

Offline ngilmore

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #4 on: 05/28/2015 05:02 PM »
Local coverage including overview of transportation of the tank.

Quote
NASA gives California Science Center museum last remaining space shuttle fuel tank
...
At about 66,000 pounds, it is less than half the weight of Endeavour.

The fuel tank will come to California the same way it was shipped to Kennedy Space Center in Florida by barge. It will start a journey of 30 to 45 days at sea from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the fuel tanks were built by Lockheed Martin, and pass through the Panama Canal, ending up in Marina del Rey.

Then it will begin a daylong journey through the streets of Southern California to get to the Science Center near downtown Los Angeles.
...
Once the external tank arrives at the Science Center, it will be stored horizontally in a temporary fabric building just north of the temporary home of Endeavour. The museum is hoping to have a transparent section of fabric that will allow visitors to peer at the tank from the outside.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-space-shuttle-20150528-story.html

Offline TheFallen

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #5 on: 05/28/2015 06:32 PM »
ET-94's move to L.A. is slated for no earlier than this November... Can't wait! And I thought the Shuttle Parade of 2012 was just a once-in-forever opportunity.
« Last Edit: 05/28/2015 06:33 PM by TheFallen »

Offline catdlr

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #6 on: 05/28/2015 07:41 PM »
Wow, can't wait. How exciting.  I live here in Marina del Rey, so I'll be sure to be present when it comes.
Tony De La Rosa

Offline Overflow

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #7 on: 05/29/2015 06:01 PM »
Not gonna lie, all this shuttle talk really makes me miss "The Girls".

I'm happy for CSC though. I can't wait to see a full stack again.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #8 on: 05/29/2015 06:06 PM »
Did I miss the boosters?  Where are they getting authentic SRBs?

Offline wolfpack

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #9 on: 05/29/2015 07:10 PM »
Did I miss the boosters?  Where are they getting authentic SRBs?

From the former ET/SRB display at the KSC Visitor Center entrance. As I understand it, the booster segments were "real" (Static Test Articles?) but the aft skirts were not (fiberglass?). So it remains to be seen how they will put the whole thing together. I can't imagine you'd want the stack assembled as it would really have been. I envision cutting into the tank somehow and having an internal, steel truss bear the Orbiter load at the attachment points. How long could the thin LH2 tank aluminum reliably carry the Orbiter and be safe in a seismic event?

Offline psloss

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #10 on: 05/29/2015 08:09 PM »
The booster hardware is at Armstrong (formerly Dryden):
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-082912b.html

(This is also noted in the current collectSPACE story.  Attached a couple of shots I got when the Endeavour museum ferry stopped there in 2012; it was still in front of the Shuttle hangar at the time...not sure if that's still the case.)

Offline Chris Bergin

Yay! ET-94 gets a proper home! Beats being unloved in a MAF car park!

That's very good news.

Offline Overflow

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #12 on: 06/01/2015 05:29 PM »
Did I miss the boosters?  Where are they getting authentic SRBs?

From the former ET/SRB display at the KSC Visitor Center entrance. As I understand it, the booster segments were "real" (Static Test Articles?) but the aft skirts were not (fiberglass?). So it remains to be seen how they will put the whole thing together. I can't imagine you'd want the stack assembled as it would really have been. I envision cutting into the tank somehow and having an internal, steel truss bear the Orbiter load at the attachment points. How long could the thin LH2 tank aluminum reliably carry the Orbiter and be safe in a seismic event?

THAT is what I'm interested about.

Offline wolfpack

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #13 on: 06/01/2015 05:42 PM »
THAT is what I'm interested about.

CSC have also said they're going to "stack" it horizontally and raise it to vertical, which makes me think even more that there has to be a strongback inside the tank. I don't think an ET will hold an Orbiter in the horizontal. To put it another way, how much weight can you stack on the side of a beer can versus on the top of it?

Offline Overflow

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #14 on: 06/03/2015 04:23 PM »
THAT is what I'm interested about.

CSC have also said they're going to "stack" it horizontally and raise it to vertical, which makes me think even more that there has to be a strongback inside the tank. I don't think an ET will hold an Orbiter in the horizontal. To put it another way, how much weight can you stack on the side of a beer can versus on the top of it?

That is also a good point.

I can't help but wonder if CSC truly understands what they plan on doing... Or are just speaking words.

Offline p51

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #15 on: 09/05/2015 10:52 PM »
I can't help but wonder if CSC truly understands what they plan on doing... Or are just speaking words.
It'd be downright silly to think that NASA has gone along with all this (not to mention all the people at the museum) without ever asking the question, "Hey, has anyone thought about how this will stay together over the long haul?"
It'd be a given there's a plan of some type there. Let's hope it's not the kind of 'plan' like the USS Intrepid people sold everyone on the Enterprise (building a big structure for it was the promise. A tent is what really came up instead, and their Concorde is still sitting on the dock, after a similar promise was made for that donation as well).  ???
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Offline shuttlefan

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #16 on: 11/12/2015 12:01 AM »
Seems to me I read, when this was decided in the summer, that shipping of this tank from Michoud to California Science Center for eventual vertical display attached to Space Shuttle Endeavour, could ocurr as early as 'late this year'.... Any updates from anyone? Thanks!
« Last Edit: 11/12/2015 12:02 AM by shuttlefan »

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #17 on: 03/03/2016 09:21 AM »
NASA's last space shuttle external tank to cross oceans, L.A. streets for display
http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-030316a-external-tank-et94-endeavour.html

NASA's last surviving external tank built to launch the space shuttle is about to embark on its final mission, but instead of rocketing to orbit, the fuel tank will travel by road and ocean to join a retired orbiter on display.

The California Science Center, which last May announced it was receiving NASA's External Tank 94 (ET-94) to mate with the space shuttle Endeavour for a new vertical launch pad-like exhibit to open in 2019, has now set the route and dates for the orange-brown tank's move from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

The journey, which will see the external tank pass through the Panama Canal and navigate the streets of L.A., comes almost three and a half years after Endeavour arrived atop a NASA jumbo jet and completed a similar road trip to the Science Center.


Photo credit: California Science Center/Dennis Jenkins

Offline eeergo

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #18 on: 03/03/2016 10:26 AM »
What are the other structures in storage in the picture?
-DaviD-

Offline collectSPACE

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Re: External Tank 94 (ET-94) to complete Endeavour exhibit
« Reply #19 on: 03/03/2016 02:07 PM »
What are the other structures in storage in the picture?

They are the components of ET-GVTA (Ground Vibration Test Article).

Photo credit: California Science Center/Dennis Jenkins
« Last Edit: 03/03/2016 02:08 PM by collectSPACE »

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