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Artificial Space Shuttle Explorer readies for launch at sea, journey to Houston

Sean Buckley, @seaniccus
May 11, 2012
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Were you asleep at mission control during Endeavor's final flight? Did you forget to look to the New York City skyline for the Enterprise's last adventure? Buck up buttercup, there's still one Space Shuttle launch you haven't missed -- a faux Space Shuttle, named Explorer, is prepping itself to ride a barge to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. The full-size shuttle mockup was shuffled out of the Kennedy Space Center Complex to make way for an actual spacecraft last year, and will now embark on a ten day journey by sea to its new home in Texas. "NASA's Space Shuttle changed the way we think about space, making it more accessible, understandable and useful," stated Space Center Houston President, Richard Allen. "It is our intent to continue that legacy with this exciting new attraction." The replica shuttle will be getting a few upgrades, including a new cockpit that more closely resembles the interior of space shuttle Atlantis, and will be housed in a new education facility that is being built around the mock spacecraft. Sure, it's not as exciting as a legitimate shuttle launch, but we're still happy to give the old bird one final send off.

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