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[[File:Explorer.jpg|thumb]]
 
The Space Shuttle Explorer is a full-scale replica of a [[Space Shuttle]]. The Explorer includes replicas of the interior spaces. It is located at [[Kennedy Space Center]] and is accessible by tourists.
 
   
Explorer is displayed alongside a gantry-style tower (which includes an elevator for accessibility) and visitors may view a mock-up payload, a mannequin wearing an early model of the orange launch/entry pressure suit worn by shuttle astronauts, and a mock-up cockpit with controls and instruments. There is a replica external tank mated to two solid rocket boosters adjacent to Explorer as well.
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'''Space Shuttle ''Independence''''' (honorary [[Orbiter Vehicle Designation]]: OV-100), formerly known as ''Explorer'', is a full-scale, high-fidelity replica of the [[Space Shuttle]]. It was built in [[Apopka, Florida]], by Guard-Lee and installed at [[Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex]] in 1993. It was built using schematics, blueprints and archival documents provided by NASA and by shuttle contractors such as [[Rockwell International]]. While many of the features on the replica are simulated, some of the model's core parts, including the Michelin tires used on the landing gear, are authentic to the [[Space Shuttle Program]].<ref name=Space-2012-05-24>{{cite news |url=http://www.space.com/15857-space-shuttle-replica-houston-barge.html |title=Space shuttle replica sets sail for Houston |work=Space.com |first=Robert Z |last=Pearlman |date=May 24, 2012 |accessdate=May 25, 2012}}</ref> <span style="font-family:sans-serif;line-height:19.1875px;">The model is 122.7 ft (37.4 m) long, 54 ft (16 m) high, and has a 78 ft (24 m) wingspan.</span>
   
Internal details of the mock-up are not remarkably accurate, though the size and scope of the payload bay is correct.
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Internal details of the mock-up are not remarkably accurate, though the size and scope of the payload bay is correct.{{fact|date=May 2012}} Externally, the mock-up features simulated [[Space Shuttle thermal protection system|thermal protection system]] tiles (bearing numbers, as the genuine flight articles used to), paneling that looks like [[reinforced carbon–carbon]] (RCC) panels on the leading edges of the wings, and actual [[Michelin]] tires on the landing gear which were flown in space. Handling points are also shown, but the external detailing does not extend to the inclusion of thermal blankets.<ref name=cs />
   
Externally, the mock-up features simulated thermal protection system tiles (bearing numbers, as the genuine flight articles do), paneling that looks like reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) panels on the leading edges of the wings, and Michelin tires on the landing gear. Handling points are also shown, but the external detailing does not extend to the inclusion of thermal blankets.
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==Display at KSC==
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''Independence'', then known as ''Explorer'', was displayed at the [[Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex]] atop cement pilings and secured with steel cabling. Visitor access was provided by a gantry-style tower with ramps and an elevator for accessibility. Inside, visitors could view a [[mock-up]] [[Payload (air and space craft)|payload]], a mannequin wearing an early model of the orange launch/entry pressure suit used by shuttle astronauts, and a mock cockpit with controls and instruments. Adjacent to ''Explorer'' were two [[Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster|solid rocket boosters]] mated to a full-size mock-up of an [[Space Shuttle external tank|external tank]] (originally used by [[John C. Stennis Space Center|Stennis Space Center]] for fit tests).<ref>{{cite news |url=http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-112911a.html |title=NASA's Fla. visitor center clearing way for Atlantis arrival |work=CollectSpace.com |date=November 29, 2011 |accessdate=July 18, 2012}}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/oig/hq/audits/reports/FY00/pdfs/ig-00-044.pdf |title=Transfer of External Tank Display to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex |work=NASA.gov |author=NASA Office of Inspector General |date=September 14, 2000 |accessdate=July 18, 2012 |id=IG-00-044}}</ref>
   
Explorer is mounted atop cement pilings and secured with steel cabling. Aside from entry through the mock-gantry, no other points of entry are available.
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Aside from entry through the mock-gantry, no other points of entry were available.
   
[[File:Mockup.jpg|thumb|left]]
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==Move to Houston==
[[File:Interior.jpgthumb|left]]
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[[File:Space Shuttle Independence OV-100.JPG|thumb|Space Shuttle Independence OV-100 on display at the Space Center Houson]]
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Due to KSC receiving the retired ''Atlantis'', Space Shuttle ''Explorer'' was removed from KSC Visitor Center December 11, 2011, by Beyel Bros. and moved on a 144-wheel trailer by truck to the Vehicle Assembly Building [[turning basin]] dock adjacent to the Launch Complex 39 Press Site to be loaded onto a barge bound for [[Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center|Johnson Space Center]]'s [[Space Center Houston]] visitor center in spring 2012. Once there, the inaccurate interior will be refurbished to accurate museum quality and put on display.<ref name=cs>{{cite news |url=http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-052412a.html |title=Space shuttle replica sets sail for Houston |work=CollectSpace.com |date=May 24, 2012 |accessdate=July 18, 2012}}</ref>
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The original moving plans were to remove the wings for transportation, however NASA and Delaware North Resorts & Hospitality, which manages operations of the Visitor Center, feared images of a space shuttle with no wings could become iconic of the Shuttle program's ending and ignite the public, undermining NASA's work to bring the Orion/SLS system into people's minds forgetting the shuttle. Thus, to accommodate the move, several light poles along [[Florida State Road 3|State Road&nbsp;3]] (SR&nbsp;3) and [[Florida State Road 405|SR&nbsp;405]] were taken down, and the shuttle itself was lifted by hydraulic jacks over the guard building on SR&nbsp;3.
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==Shuttlebration and renaming==
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Johnson Space Center hosted a celebration for the arrival of the Explorer orbiter. The Shuttlebration started on June 1, 2012, at the southeast corner of Clear Lake by the Nassau Bay Hilton Hotel. The festivities, so far, have included the arrival of the Shuttle at the dock. This was the largest item to arrive at the dock since the Saturn V arrived for display in 1977.<ref name="spacecenter">{{cite web |url=http://www.spacecenter.org/shuttlebration.html |title=Shuttlebration Weekend |work=Space Center Houston |accessdate=July 18, 2012}}</ref><ref name="mwatch20120530">{{cite press release |url=http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nasa-joins-community-in-shuttlebration-weekend-celebration-2012-05-30 |title=NASA Joins Community In Shuttlebration Weekend Celebration |publisher=NASA/PRNewswire ''via'' MarketWatch.com |date=May 30, 2012 |accessdate=July 18, 2012}}</ref> A competition to rename ''Explorer'' opened on July 4, 2013, and concluded on September 2, 2013, with over 10,000 entries. The replica's new name, ''Independence'', was revealed on October 5, 2013.<ref name="collect20130920">{{cite news |url=http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-092013a.html |title=Houston's space shuttle replica to get new name in public event |work=CollectSpace.com |date=September 20, 2013 |accessdate=October 6, 2013}}</ref><ref name="collect20131005">{{cite news |url=http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-100513a.html |title=Houston's space shuttle replica christened 'Independence' |work=CollectSpace.com |date=October 5, 2013 |accessdate=October 6, 2013}}</ref>
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==Gallery==
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<gallery position="center" widths="200">
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SpaceShuttleExplorer.JPG|Shuttle mock-up ''Explorer'' at the [[Kennedy Space Center]]
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Hughes-Intelsat-Satellite-Model.jpg|Mock-up of a [[Hughes Communications]] satellite inside ''Explorer'', similar to one carried on [[STS-49]]
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</gallery>
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==See also==
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{{Commons category}}
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* [[Space Shuttle Pathfinder|Space Shuttle ''Pathfinder'']]
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==References==
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#'''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Independence#cite_ref-Space-2012-05-24_1-0 ^]''' <span class="citation news" style="word-wrap:break-word;">Pearlman, Robert Z (May 24, 2012). [http://www.space.com/15857-space-shuttle-replica-houston-barge.html "Space shuttle replica sets sail for Houston"]. ''Space.com''. Retrieved May 25, 2012.</span>
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#^ [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Independence#cite_ref-cs_2-0 <sup style="line-height:1em;">'''''a'''''</sup>] [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Independence#cite_ref-cs_2-1 <sup style="line-height:1em;">'''''b'''''</sup>] <span class="citation news" style="word-wrap:break-word;">[http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-052412a.html "Space shuttle replica sets sail for Houston"]. ''CollectSpace.com''. May 24, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.</span>
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#'''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Independence#cite_ref-3 ^]''' <span class="citation news" style="word-wrap:break-word;">[http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-112911a.html "NASA's Fla. visitor center clearing way for Atlantis arrival"]. ''CollectSpace.com''. November 29, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2012.</span>
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#'''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Independence#cite_ref-4 ^]''' <span class="citation web" style="word-wrap:break-word;">NASA Office of Inspector General (September 14, 2000). [http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/oig/hq/audits/reports/FY00/pdfs/ig-00-044.pdf "Transfer of External Tank Display to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex"]. ''NASA.gov''. IG-00-044. Retrieved July 18, 2012.</span>
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#'''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Independence#cite_ref-spacecenter_5-0 ^]''' <span class="citation web" style="word-wrap:break-word;">[http://www.spacecenter.org/shuttlebration.html "Shuttlebration Weekend"]. ''Space Center Houston''. Retrieved July 18, 2012.</span>
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#'''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Independence#cite_ref-mwatch20120530_6-0 ^]''' <span class="citation pressrelease" style="word-wrap:break-word;">[http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nasa-joins-community-in-shuttlebration-weekend-celebration-2012-05-30 "NASA Joins Community In Shuttlebration Weekend Celebration"] (Press release). NASA/PRNewswire ''via'' MarketWatch.com. May 30, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.</span>
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#'''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Independence#cite_ref-collect20130920_7-0 ^]''' <span class="citation news" style="word-wrap:break-word;">[http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-092013a.html "Houston's space shuttle replica to get new name in public event"]. ''CollectSpace.com''. September 20, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013.</span>
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#'''[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Independence#cite_ref-collect20131005_8-0 ^]''' <span class="citation news" style="word-wrap:break-word;">[http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-100513a.html "Houston's space shuttle replica christened 'Independence'"]. ''CollectSpace.com''. October 5, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013.</span>
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#
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[[Category:Space Shuttle tourist attractions|Independence]]
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[[Category:Space Shuttle Orbiters]]
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[[Category:Space Shuttles]]
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[[Category:Manned Spacecraft]]
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[[Category:Article stubs]]

Latest revision as of 03:33, December 15, 2013

Space Shuttle Independence (honorary Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-100), formerly known as Explorer, is a full-scale, high-fidelity replica of the Space Shuttle. It was built in Apopka, Florida, by Guard-Lee and installed at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in 1993. It was built using schematics, blueprints and archival documents provided by NASA and by shuttle contractors such as Rockwell International. While many of the features on the replica are simulated, some of the model's core parts, including the Michelin tires used on the landing gear, are authentic to the Space Shuttle Program.[1] The model is 122.7 ft (37.4 m) long, 54 ft (16 m) high, and has a 78 ft (24 m) wingspan.

Internal details of the mock-up are not remarkably accurate, though the size and scope of the payload bay is correct.[citation needed] Externally, the mock-up features simulated thermal protection system tiles (bearing numbers, as the genuine flight articles used to), paneling that looks like reinforced carbon–carbon (RCC) panels on the leading edges of the wings, and actual Michelin tires on the landing gear which were flown in space. Handling points are also shown, but the external detailing does not extend to the inclusion of thermal blankets.[2]

Display at KSCEdit

Independence, then known as Explorer, was displayed at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex atop cement pilings and secured with steel cabling. Visitor access was provided by a gantry-style tower with ramps and an elevator for accessibility. Inside, visitors could view a mock-up payload, a mannequin wearing an early model of the orange launch/entry pressure suit used by shuttle astronauts, and a mock cockpit with controls and instruments. Adjacent to Explorer were two solid rocket boosters mated to a full-size mock-up of an external tank (originally used by Stennis Space Center for fit tests).[3][4]

Aside from entry through the mock-gantry, no other points of entry were available.

Move to HoustonEdit

Space Shuttle Independence OV-100

Space Shuttle Independence OV-100 on display at the Space Center Houson

Due to KSC receiving the retired Atlantis, Space Shuttle Explorer was removed from KSC Visitor Center December 11, 2011, by Beyel Bros. and moved on a 144-wheel trailer by truck to the Vehicle Assembly Building turning basin dock adjacent to the Launch Complex 39 Press Site to be loaded onto a barge bound for Johnson Space Center's Space Center Houston visitor center in spring 2012. Once there, the inaccurate interior will be refurbished to accurate museum quality and put on display.[2]

The original moving plans were to remove the wings for transportation, however NASA and Delaware North Resorts & Hospitality, which manages operations of the Visitor Center, feared images of a space shuttle with no wings could become iconic of the Shuttle program's ending and ignite the public, undermining NASA's work to bring the Orion/SLS system into people's minds forgetting the shuttle. Thus, to accommodate the move, several light poles along State Road 3 (SR 3) and SR 405 were taken down, and the shuttle itself was lifted by hydraulic jacks over the guard building on SR 3.

Shuttlebration and renamingEdit

Johnson Space Center hosted a celebration for the arrival of the Explorer orbiter. The Shuttlebration started on June 1, 2012, at the southeast corner of Clear Lake by the Nassau Bay Hilton Hotel. The festivities, so far, have included the arrival of the Shuttle at the dock. This was the largest item to arrive at the dock since the Saturn V arrived for display in 1977.[5][6] A competition to rename Explorer opened on July 4, 2013, and concluded on September 2, 2013, with over 10,000 entries. The replica's new name, Independence, was revealed on October 5, 2013.[7][8]

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

Template:Commons category

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Pearlman, Robert Z (May 24, 2012). "Space shuttle replica sets sail for Houston"Space.com. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  2. a b "Space shuttle replica sets sail for Houston"CollectSpace.com. May 24, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  3. ^ "NASA's Fla. visitor center clearing way for Atlantis arrival"CollectSpace.com. November 29, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  4. ^ NASA Office of Inspector General (September 14, 2000). "Transfer of External Tank Display to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex"NASA.gov. IG-00-044. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  5. ^ "Shuttlebration Weekend"Space Center Houston. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  6. ^ "NASA Joins Community In Shuttlebration Weekend Celebration" (Press release). NASA/PRNewswire via MarketWatch.com. May 30, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  7. ^ "Houston's space shuttle replica to get new name in public event"CollectSpace.com. September 20, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013.
  8. ^ "Houston's space shuttle replica christened 'Independence'"CollectSpace.com. October 5, 2013. Retrieved October 6, 2013.

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