Space shuttle model arrives in Galveston

Replica towed through Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTON - A space shuttle replica arrived in the Galveston area on Thursday.

A 130,000-pound, full-scale model was built over the course of 13 months for $1.7 million.

It was brought to Houston from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was towed by a 54-feet wide, 180-feet long barge.

The barge will be handed off to two inland tugs for transport down the Houston Ship Channel. Before entering Clear Lake, the inland tugs will hand over the barge to four smaller push boats.

The push boats will bring the barge underneath the Kemah Bridge and guide it through Clear Lake to the Johnson Space Center at the intersection of NASA and Space Center Boulevard.

Officials at the JSC will build a temporary ramp from the barge to the dock so they can get to the shuttle. Cranes will lift the shuttle so a 144-wheel trailer can be positioned beneath it. The trailer will then take the shuttle a little more than a mile to it's destination at Space Center Houston for your viewing pleasure.

The shuttle model is free-standing and displayed on its three landing gears. Interior of the model will be accessible to the public on two levels. Replicas of the flight deck and mid-deck will be visible from the public area inside of the payload bay.

Details of the model are based on early vehicle flight configurations such as analog gauges and docking connector.

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.