Unusual Sight: Space Shuttle Speeding Across the Ocean

by Nancy Atkinson on June 1, 2012

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter

Aerial view of the space shuttle replica 'Explorer' being hauled via barge to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Credit: Gregory Johnson.

Astronaut Greg Johnson posted a few unusual pictures on Twitter this morning: “Steve Robinson and I were flying the T-38 and noticed this unusual sight in the gulf. Not something you see every day.” Johnson Tweeted.

The space shuttle on barge is a high fidelity replica model named “Explorer,” which was originally at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Center. Since KSC will be housing a ‘real’ shuttle, Atlantis, Johnson Space Center will get the replica. Astronaut Johnson snapped another image, below

Side view of the shuttle replica 'Explorer' in the Gulf of Mexico. Credit: Gregory Johnson

“Here’s another view from the side,” Johnson said. “The shuttle mockup is enroute to Clear Lake (JSC). It arrives this afternoon.”

Explorer was moved out from Kennedy’s Visitor Center in December 2011 to make way for Space Shuttle Atlantis, and left on the barge on May 24 (see article and images from Ken Kremer here). It wound its way around Florida and along the Gulf Coast to get to the Houston area.

On Sunday, June 3, the replica shuttle will arrive at Space Center Houston where it eventually will become part of a unique display. This weekend (June 1-3) Space Center Houston is hosting a free public “Shuttlebration Weekend.”

Atlantis will be towed to the KSC Visitor Complex in November 2012. The Visitor Complex is constructing a permanent new display hall for Atlantis which is slated to open in 2013.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Bariman43 June 1, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I remember seeing this replica when we were climbing up the steps to the “Shuttle Experience” exhibit at the Visitor Center. It was massive.

Kevin Frushour June 1, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Man, talk about budget cuts. They’re never gonna get enough speed up to take off.

MeyerKaty June 2, 2012 at 5:26 PM

my best friend’s sister-in-law got paid $14696 the prior month. she is making money on the inte<!–truth is almight–>rnet and bought a $372500 home. All she did was get blessed and work up the steps uncovered on this link ===>> ?????? http://getitmust.blogspot.com/m

ClarkTommy63 June 3, 2012 at 7:28 PM

my friend’s aunt brought home $17621 last month. she gets paid on the internet and bought a $566900 condo. All she did was get blessed and work up the guide revealed on this web site===>> ?????? http://enternet-Job.blogspot.com

DillardCarl92 June 4, 2012 at 5:24 PM

my roomate’s mom got paid $ 14828 past week. she is making an incom e on the internet and bought a $481700 house. All she did was get fortunate and put into use the guide exposed on this web site ===>> ?????? http://workoverenternet.blogspot.com

Olaf2 June 2, 2012 at 3:17 PM

They should fire up the rockets, then it would be a cool speedboat.

Gore Gogore June 4, 2012 at 9:19 AM

speeding at 5miles/hour

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: