The journey began early Sunday when crews delicately pushed the 15-story space shuttle fuel tank from its outdoor perch outside NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility onto an ocean barge bound for Los Angeles....At the dock, where there was an Endeavour flag flapping in the wind, the tank was slowly driven over steel plates onto an ocean barge called Gulfmaster I. A white "work tug" boat that helped push the barge against the dock was dubbed the Dani Lynn.
A last-of-its-kind, very large artifact from NASA's space shuttle program is set to leave New Orleans this week on an almost 40-day ocean voyage to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal.The remaining external tank built to fuel a space shuttle's launch into Earth orbit was rolled down a one mile-long (1.6 km) road and onto a barge on Sunday (April 10), two days ahead of its scheduled departure from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana."It is a bittersweet day, [but] at the same time we like to celebrate history of the work that was done by the men and women here," said Bobby Watkins, director of the Michoud Assembly Facility. "With it moving over to California, that is going to open it up for millions of people to come and take a look at it, so we're very proud of that."
For the next five weeks, ET-94 will be strapped to an ocean barge. It will cross the Panama Canal, ride up the Pacific Coast and dock in Marina del Rey in mid-May. Then, like the space shuttle Endeavour before it ET-94 will ride through Los Angeles streets before arriving at the California Science Center in Exposition Park. There, it will go on permanent display with the Endeavour.
NASA's last-existing, built-for-flight space shuttle external tank was launched Tuesday (Apr. 12) on a 40-day sea voyage from New Orleans to Los Angeles, 35 years to the day after the first such tank fueled the maiden flight of the iconic winged spacecraft.
"Today is a milestone in history for Michoud and also for the space shuttle program. We bid farewell to NASA's last flight-certified external tank," said Bobby Watkins, director of the Michoud Assembly Facility. "It's hard to say goodbye but we know it is receiving the proper recognition by going to the California Science Center."
Are there anymore tanks at Michoud that are anywhere NEAR flight-ready? Perhaps someone could give a status of remaining tanks/tank parts at Michoud. Thanks!
Quote from: shuttlefan on 04/14/2016 03:29 PMAre there anymore tanks at Michoud that are anywhere NEAR flight-ready? Perhaps someone could give a status of remaining tanks/tank parts at Michoud. Thanks! I think there are (or had been) a LOX tank and LH tank. Those and a few other parts are visible on satellite imagery from last year. (The complete looking one is ET-94)
Quote from: rayleighscatter on 04/15/2016 09:05 PMQuote from: shuttlefan on 04/14/2016 03:29 PMAre there anymore tanks at Michoud that are anywhere NEAR flight-ready? Perhaps someone could give a status of remaining tanks/tank parts at Michoud. Thanks! I think there are (or had been) a LOX tank and LH tank. Those and a few other parts are visible on satellite imagery from last year. (The complete looking one is ET-94)Chris had an article from 2010 that described what was left when ET production stopped. ET-139 had most of its pieces built, and there are a few dome sections from ET-140 and ET-141.http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/06/sd-hlv-assessment-highlights-post-shuttle-solution/
Related story:http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/09/et-94-fate-unknown-last-remaining-external-tank-maf/And a thread:http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29999.0<snip>
...the part-built spare tanks at MAF have since been sent for scrap.
It is the fifth time in history that a shuttle fuel tank has traversed the famous shipping canal. Four tanks were shipped from the Louisiana factory to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in the 1980s for polar-orbiting shuttle launches, then were shipped to Florida once the West Coast pad was cancelled by the Pentagon after Challenger.
Which ETs were pre-shipped to Vandenberg?
A giant space shuttle fuel tank made for an unusual sight Monday (April 25) at the Panama Canal.The 154-foot-long (47 meter) external tank, riding atop an uncovered flatbed barge, entered the famous waterway on its journey to the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where will be displayed with NASA's retired space shuttle Endeavour.
The fifth space shuttle external tank to cross the Panama Canal – and the first to do so on an open-air barge — ET-94 is scheduled to take another 17 to 20 days to arrive at Marina del Rey in California. The external tank will then embark May 20 on an overnight road trip to Exposition Park, where the science center is located.