Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"X" AS IN "X MARKS THE SPOT" for Alphabe-Thursday

My goodness...we're up to the letter "X" already for Alphabe-Thursday.

"X" is a hard one, but something has been going on around here for the last couple of days.
We've had plenty of warning.

One of NASA's retired 747s was moved from Ellington Field in Houston to Space Center Houston, a distance of about 8 miles.  Here's the map and "X" marks the spot of the aircraft's final destination.
 You can read about The Big Move on Space Center Houston's website.

During the night of April 28th it was moved 5.75 miles to a temporary location on East Commerce Street in Webster, Texas.  That's where I went to take these pictures.  Sorry, I didn't feel like going in the middle of the night to watch it slowly being moved down Highway 3.  A lot of people went, but I wasn't one of them!  I was perfectly content to see it in broad daylight in this temporary location.

A lot of other people had the same idea and it was causing a bit of a traffic jam along Highway 3 and NASA Parkway.
 It isn't often that you're driving along and see pieces of a 747 parked along the side of the road.  Workers from Boeing took apart the aircraft for the move.  When it arrives at Space Center Houston they will reassemble it.
Cars were pulling over along the side of Highway 3 for a better view.
They said it was being moved on six different trailers with the biggest piece being the fuselage, measuring 25 feet wide, 35 feet high, and over 190 feet long.
They had the area roped off and there was plenty of security so we couldn't get any closer.
At Space Center Houston they were preparing for its arrival.
I took this picture on the 29th.  This is a full scale shuttle model that will be mounted on top of the 747.  To the dismay of many Houstonians the city did not get one of the retired shuttles.  We got a fake one that was used for training purposes.
Right outside Space Center Houston is a free picnic area called T-38 Talon Park.  (The astronauts fly the T-38s.)  Right past this park is where you enter Space Center Houston.  However, I believe you will be able to observe the 747 and Space Shuttle model from this free location.  I parked here and walked across the street to take the picture of the shuttle.
Here are the T-38s.
There's also an Apollo test aircraft on display.
When my kids were growing up in the 1980's there was no Space Center Houston.  However, you could visit the Johnson Space Center and it was free.  We went often. The kids loved it.
Space Center Houston is located right next to the Johnson Space Center.  I was kind of disappointed when Space Center Houston opened because of the expense.  You can check here for current prices.  We were used to free.  You're now taken over to the Johnson Space Center on a tram and no longer have the freedom to walk around and explore.  Of course, after 9/11 they probably would have had to do away with that anyway.

Seeing the Space Shuttle on top of a 747 is quite a site.  In 1991 NASA accepted the delivery of  the Space Shuttle Endeavor and she was transported from Palmdale, California to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the back of a 747.  Endeavor was built as a replacement for the Space Shuttle Challenger.

On May 6, 1991 the 747 with Endeavor on top flew over the Johnson Space Center and landed at Ellington Field on its journey to Florida.  I decided we should take advantage of the opportunity and Reid, Troy, and I went to see it.

It was a Kodak moment.
Back then Reid had hair and Troy had long hair.

I had my frizzy hair back then.  We all had to get in a picture with Endeavor!

I actually had an opportunity to go aboard one of NASA's 747s at an open house some years back.  The interior of the plane is stripped down to the insulation to cut back on weight.  It's just a big empty plane with a few rows of seats.

It's all history now!

Be sure and visit Ms. Jenny's blog, Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent" for a list of this week's participants.

Thanks for visiting.

















15 comments:

  1. I got to visit the Kennedy Space Center once, and it was really interesting to hear about how they moved the shuttle. This would have been a lot of fun to see (but I agree about waiting for the daytime to see it).

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  2. Because of 9/11 I see the sense of more security , even though it is sad that the world is not like it was before. Thanks for sharing all the info:)

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  3. Interesting post. I did X marks the spot too - great minds... and all that!

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  4. Betty ~ wonderful post for X ~ historical and meaningful photos ~ great job ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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  5. Interesting and such cool photos.

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  6. These are definite memories to cherish....as much as your curly hair!!!...:)JP

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  7. Must be a very interesting place to visit !

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  8. The pics of you and your kids from back in the day remind me of a trip I took with my kids in the 80's to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    It was great fun and a wonderful memory...

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  9. Hello Betty! This is such a very interesting post. Thank you for sharing it with us. It looks like a wonderful place to visit.

    Love,
    Olivia

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  10. Very cool! I love space-craft, though have not seen any up close before.

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  11. Loved reading your blog. What a lot of preparation went into that move!

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  12. Such an interesting *X* post – great photography!

    Always a pleasure to visit here!

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  13. What an original idea for the "X" post, Betty! Love it.

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  14. My first thought is wow that has to be so weird to see that traveling down the road! Right?

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  15. So interesting! My niece Holly and her phamily just spent Spring Break at the Space Center. She said the kids had a blast. Thanks for sharing.

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