The Latest: Space shuttle tank ends voyage to Los Angeles

AP News
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Posted: May 18, 2016 1:29 PM
The Latest: Space shuttle tank ends voyage to Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a giant space shuttle external tank being shipped to California for display with the retired orbiter Endeavour (all times local):

6:20 a.m.

A barge carrying a space shuttle external tank has entered Marina del Rey on the Los Angeles County coast, ending a long ocean voyage to add the massive piece of NASA hardware to a display of the orbiter Endeavour.

A small fireboat sprayed water in a salute early Wednesday as tugs slowly hauled the barge up the yacht harbor's main channel. The tank was shipped from a NASA facility and passed through the Panama Canal on its way to the West Coast.

The tank will be rolled off the barge and during the weekend will be squeezed through the streets of Los Angeles to its new home at the California Science Center.

Plans call for mounting Endeavour to the tank along with solid rocket boosters to display the retired space transportation system in the launch configuration.

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NASA's last flight-capable space shuttle external fuel tank is set to arrive in Los Angeles as it makes it journey to the California Science Center.

The tank known as ET-94 is scheduled to arrive Wednesday, and then head later in the week to the science center. It will join the retired orbiter Endeavour.

The plan is to mount the winged spaceship vertically on the massive burnt orange tank as if ready for launch, complete with a real pair of solid rocket boosters.

External tanks normally burn up when they re-enter Earth's atmosphere.

ET-94 never made it to space because the shuttle it was made for, Columbia, disintegrated over Texas in 2003 as it was returning from a mission, killing its crew of seven.