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Space Shuttle Replica “Explorer” Arrives by Barge in Texas (Photos)

It’s a Shuttlebration and we were lucky to pretty much stumble upon it. In Houston for just two days for a conference, I decided we had time to sneak off to the Johnson Space Center on Friday, June 1. Serendipity: The new replica of the Space Shuttle, “Explorer”, was just arriving by barge from Florida. Not having watched the news at all, I had no idea! It docked just down the road from the Space Center on Clear Lake, just outside Houston.

Explorer is true to life and as of today (Sunday, June 3) it will be permanently on display outside at the Space Center. It’s previous home was Cape Canaveral and it made the journey by barge to Clear Lake. The final stretch required the closing of NASA 1 Highway and NASA Parkway as well as the temporary removal of traffic lights to make way for the shuttle.

A pretty sizable crowd showed up just to see the shuttle mockup near its docking point next to the Hilton Hotel.

Traffic was often at a standstill, partly due to the rubberneckers (like ourselves) and partly because a large truck and crane were momentarily blocking traffic as they prepared the space shuttle to move from the barge to terra firma.

I’m preparing a post from our visit to the Space Center. (It was awesome!)

Kevin Revolinski

Author, travel writer/photographer, world traveler. Writes about travel, hiking, camping, paddling, and craft beer.

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