May 23, 2016
‘ET Comes Home’ & ‘Spot the Tank’ the popular hash tags used to track ET’s whereabouts as it first began it’s journey starting at NASA’s facility dock in New Orleans, through the Panama Canal, up the west coast and finally arriving to it’s new home at the California Science Center. Incredibly the 154-foot long tank came through the streets of LA, a 16.5 mile route as crowds of people cheered as it passed by local neighborhoods inspiring the community like it’s predecessor the space shuttle Endeavour, making the same trek. ET-94 the space shuttle external tank was like the “gas tank” for the space shuttle orbiter. It carried propellants—liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen—that flowed into the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs), where it produced almost one and a half million pounds of thrust to help push the space shuttle to orbit. Read more.
I had the chance to speak to David Knight, CEO of Terbine Group & Board of Trustees California Science Center during the shuttle tank’s early stages first leaving the port of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans heading it’s way to Los Angeles. Hear him talk about his adventure filming ET’s journey passing through the Panama Canal, virtual reality, also find out about David’s three second stunt man career.
I caught up with George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic & the Spaceship Company while he was there with his family watching the space shuttle tank arrive at the California Science Center.
“It’s a terrific day, I remember when I was at NASA we were deciding where these things were going to end up and now it’s all here, so it’s a really great day. I think it’s going to be fantastic for the city of Los Angeles to have an entire shuttle stack in one place.” – George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic & the Spaceship Company
“It’s wonderful seeing so many people turn out to watch a piece of space shuttle history go through the streets of LA again. It brought back a lot of memories of watching Endeavor do the same type of transfer and gave a lot of attention to a part of the space shuttle that the public might not actually know about. They might recognize it if it was in the vertical standing on the launch pad but rolling through the streets..this is probably their first time seeing an external tank by itself. Any opportunity to expose the public to space history, get them interested in space and science is a good thing in my book. ”-Robert Pearlman, Contributing Writer of Space.com & Editor of CollectSpace
In photo (middle): Lynda Oschin, Chairperson and Secretary of Ms. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center currently home of the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center.
Some behind the scenes while operations is preparing to maneuver ET-94 Space Shuttle External Tank through the backside of the California Science Center outside park area. Photo (middle): In the blue shirt is Jeffrey N. Rudolph, President and CEO of the California Science Center.