Thursday, January 21, 2016

Independence Plaza at Space Center Houston to Open on January 23rd

Something big will open at Space Center Houston on Saturday, January 23rd. The newest international landmark, Independence Plaza, will open its doors to a one-of-a-kind, interactive experience featuring the first Space Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, NASA 905 (Boeing 747), and the high-fidelity replica of the Space Shuttle.

Photo by Pam Moore
But first, some background about how all this came together. In April 2011, NASA announced the new retirement homes for the four remaining space shuttles -- three historic orbiters and the program's test vehicle. The Johnson Space Center was selected to receive the 122.7 foot long by 54 foot tall (37.4 by 16.5 meter) shuttle mockup.

Photo by Houston Chronicle
The shuttle mockup arrived via barge from Florida on June 1, 2012, traveled through the Clear Lake Channel, docking on the bank of Clear Lake and then slowly transported via flatbed down NASA Road 1 to Space Center Houston. The Houston Chronicle article, “Space shuttle replica docks at Johnson Space Center”, contains a photo gallery that chronicles that journey. A contest was held to name the replica and “Independence” was the winning entry
After its final flight into Houston, NASA 905 was dismantled for transport. During two evenings, those sections were taken down Highway 3 and then down NASA Road 1 to Space Center Houston. The next step was to put the sections together and then position the NASA 905 into place.

The delicate “mating” of the shuttle mockup to the top of the aircraft was completed successfully. After that major task was completed, work began on completing the plaza and the visitor’s access ramp was built.

The countdown clock has officially begun and you can check the number of days, hours, etc. left until the grand opening date of the new international landmark, Independence Plaza at the Space Center Houston website.Space Center Houston is located at 1601 NASA Road 1, Houston.

Brockway Realty Blogs previously published about this topic are:  A REALLY BIG MOVE and Road Closures on April 28th - April 30th on 4/28/2014; Watch via Webcam as the Boeing 747 Space Shuttle Carrier is Reassembled on 5/27/2014; “Rise of Independence” at Space Center Houston Planned for August 14th on 8/13/2014.

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By Pamela Moore, Feature Blogger for Brockway Realty, LLC

Originally Posted on Brockway Realty LLC's Official Blog