Mission 26: ET Comes Home Q&A

1.    What is the schedule for the ET’s arrival?
ET-94 is scheduled to leave NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility on April 12, 2016, and should arrive at the California Science Center around May 21, 2016.
 
2.    What is the route for the ET’s move, and how long will it take?
Marina del Rey parking lot to Fiji Way; Fiji Way to Lincoln (PCH); Lincoln to Mindanao Way; Mindanao Way to CA-90; CA-90 to Culver Blvd; Culver Blvd. to Lincoln via transition ramp; Lincoln to Loyola Blvd; Loyola Blvd. to Westchester Pkwy; Westchester Parkway turns into Arbor Vitae St. at Airport Blvd; Arbor Vitae St. to La Brea Ave; La Brea Ave. to Manchester Blvd; Manchester Blvd. to Vermont Ave; Vermont Ave. to MLK; MLK to Exposition Park. It should take 13-18 hours to make the entire journey.
 
3.    Are there any weather or sea conditions concerns regarding the move? What happens if the barge is caught in a storm?
We will be keeping a good eye on the weather. It is a good time of year for the passage (not hurricane season). We have established conditions with the tug company and they do not feel there should be any issues. The tug company will be making the voyage fairly close to shore (just outside the 12-mile limit most of the time) and will head for shore if really bad weather develops.
 
4.    Will more trees be cut down to accommodate the move of the ET?
The tank is neither as wide as Endeavour (32 feet versus 78 feet) nor as high (35 feet versus 56 feet). Because of this, fewer utilities will be impacted and no trees will be removed along ET’s route from the coast to Exposition Park, though some light trimming may be necessary.
 
5.    How much will this entire operation cost?
Approximately 3 million dollars, funded by the EndeavourLA Campaign,
 
6.    How will ET-94’s road trip compare to Endeavour’s?
The route to move the ET is a bit longer than the one we used for Endeavour. But in general it is a much easier move since the tank does not have wings or a vertical stabilizer so it requires far fewer things be moved. For instance, this time absolutely no trees will be removed along the route. A lot fewer utilities and light poles need to be moved. In addition, using DOT-approved dollies instead of self-propelled modular transporters will make the move easier to permit.
 
 
7.    Will guests be able to see ET-94 once it arrives at the California Science Center? Where will it be placed?
Yes, it will be placed on the north side of the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Pavilion. There will be a viewing area where guests can catch a glimpse of the tank.
 
 
8.    What needs to be done to prepare ET-94 to be mated with Endeavour?

All of the orbiter attach hardware, feedlines, pressurization lines, and cable trays have been removed from the outside of ET-94. NASA donated all of the orbiter attach hardware to the Science Center several years ago, so now we need to reinstall it. All will be shipped to the Science Center about the same time as ET-94 in a standard container, by truck.  We will also have to fix the foam. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) dissected a lot of foam on the tank to better understand how the foam worked.  Somewhat later, NASA removed a lot of foam around the intertank flanges (between the LO2 tank and intertank and between the intertank and LH2 tank) for some engineering evaluations. So there is a fair amount of foam that needs to be repaired. In addition to repairing the “acreage” foam, we will need to recreate all of the ice-frost ramps, bipod ramps, PAL ramps, etc. It's a big project.
 
9.    What are the remaining steps leading to the opening of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center?
We will complete the design of the exhibits and the building architecture and finish our efforts to acquire additional artifacts. Endeavour will be mated to the External Tank and solid rocket boosters and transported from its current temporary display to the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center where it will be rotated 90-degrees to place it in launch configuration.
 
10.  Can people come watch Endeavour being moved, mated and placed in the new building?
With safety as our primary concern we will make every effort to allow people to view the work required to move Endeavour from its current location to the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. We adopted this approach in the Fall of 2014 when we opened Endeavour’s payload bay to insert the Space Habitat module and people enjoyed the opportunity to view our work.  
 
11.  When will Endeavour go off display to move to the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center? How long will Endeavour be off display?
About 24 months after we start construction of the new Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center we will take Endeavour off display for a period of about one year.
 

 
12.  When will the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center be open? Has construction started?
Designs for the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center’s building are in final review. We anticipate breaking ground on the new facility in 2016 once EndeavourLA Campaign financial milestones are met. Once construction starts, it will take about three years to complete.
 
13.  What is the Science Center‘s fundraising goal for the Samuel Oschin  Air and Space Center? How much money has been raised so far?
The EndeavourLA Campaign goal is $250 million and we have secured over $110 million in gifts and pledges to date.
 
14.  How many people have signed up as Tile sponsors? How much is it to purchase a tile?
Over 230 donors have joined Team Endeavour, sponsoring tiles from Endeavour’s thermal protection system in support of the EndeavourLA Campaign. Tile sponsorships start at $1,000 and can be paid through a ten-month installment plan. More information can be found at EndeavourLA.org.
 
 
15.  When the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center opens, what will guests see and experience?
When guests enter the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center they will see families and children engaged in hands-on learning amidst real aircraft and spacecraft displayed dramatically in three separate galleries that include Air, Space and Shuttle all tied together by a large concourse where people can gather to hear breaking news in aeronautics and space exploration.
 
16.  How has having Endeavour on display changed the California Science Center?
Endeavour and the California Science Center have become an iconic destination for Los Angeles. The California Science Center’s visitorship skyrocketed with the arrival of Endeavour, making it the 8th most visited museum in North America.
 
The completion of the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will add 188,000 square feet to the California Science Center and will integrate real artifacts with fun, educational exhibits on the science of flight and space exploration. Endeavour’s vertical display will be the centerpiece, with the Space Shuttle Gallery soaring to an elevation of nearly 200 feet to accommodate a complete Space Shuttle System that includes ET-94 and real Solid Rocket Boosters for an unparalleled educational experience.