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April 30, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

She ain’t heavy. OK, she is.

Finally. More than a number. And going home.

Wings can be stripped off, but not the spirit.

Supporters huddled around. Protectively.

Checked her cheek. The tats. Seven of them.

History. Proud history.

Shouldered big burdens. 247 times to be exact. Yes, counted each one.

747 Nasa Shuttle Transport.(Parker.no permission given)

Gentlemen start your engines. SCA is ready to roll. Party on!

Escorts calling her “Oversized”.

Not maliciously. To make life easier.

Treated with respect. And gentleness.

Well deserved.

It was time. Has her own ticket to ride.

With open arms and removed power lines, nothing will stop her.

Palm trees will sway away.

Forever home in sight: Space Center Houston.

Flight controls on flight deck of N905NA (Image Smiley N. Pool. Hou.Chron/Seattlepi.com)

Does this look like it’s been lifting weights? Imagine some strength is necessary to muscle this baby around. Flight controls on the flight deck: tourists will get to sit here and pretend. (Smiley N. Pool.HouChron/Seattlepi.com)

NASA 905, the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, is rolling, rolling, rolling.

Eight miles during 2 nights

(She’s always been more comfortable moving among the stars.)

Six miles done. (Resting quietly right now in a field along the railroad tracks) The last tricky two miles tonight.

The specially modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet is taking the commuter route towards Johnson Space Center.

Thrilled to pieces.

Boeing workers remove wing from SCA (Image: Smiley N.Pool.Hou.Chron/Seattlepi.com)

Strip show? No, Boeing workers removing a wing.The moving trailers have as many wheels as caterpillars have legs! (Smiley N.Pool.Hou.Chron/Seattlepi.com)

In February, a Boeing crew to carefully began removing the wings and major pieces. And saving every nut and bolt.

A feat never been done before.

Boeing built her. Who better to tickle her apart?

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft will be puzzled back together at the end of the trail.

Wingless Shuttle Carrier Aircraft waiting to go

Red means stop! Wingless. Waiting, but ready to go. (Check the shuttle tats by the door) This part of the jumbo jet is about as long as two basketball courts.

While impressive in size, without wings this move should be less problematic than moving that shuttle replica down the road from the dock last year.

Even then, with tilting trailers, angling wheels, and a little help from friends, only one palm tree was damaged.

trailers loaded with components of Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (Parker)

SCA components trailered up and ready for the night-time parade. The “whale tail”at the right are the 747’s rear stabilizers.

Monday, getting a good close view was easy.

Getting a picture of all seven lined-up trailers was the hard part.

Everyone was treating the 747 like a neighbor’s giant Great Dane puppy that got loose and loped down the sidewalk looking for treats.

There’s something cuddly about the big old thing.

Something about it makes you want to quietly greet it in person.

It may have only carried the show pony, but that back stage support role was steady and superbly done.

Landing Gear of SCA on taxiway at Ellington Field, TX(Smiley N. Pool.Hou.Chron/seattlepi.com)

Ready to tango or at least join a Conga line? Landing Gear on taxiway at Ellington Field. (Smiley N. Pool.HouChron/seattlepi.com)

Gotta love landing gears!

Don’t these look like giddy robots? Something out of Star Wars or Wall.E?

Suspect they chatter when no one is looking.

Maybe cha-cha cha, too.

Nose to nose with a real historical giant.

Road trip!

Being a proud workhorse, it’s hard to ask for help.

But she promised to do her part and wear a banner.

They are raising funds to dress out the museum display of the shuttle and N905NA.

School buses sport banners, so SCA, always helpful, wasn't too uncomfortable with this one.

School buses sport banners, so SCA wasn’t too uncomfortable with this one.

See what will be built and ready for tourists in 44 weeks. 

The transport that never flew in space but during retirement N905NA will help launch dreams.

WATCH THE VIDEO. “The Big Move” for more.

The shuttle replica now waiting in the grass turns a few heads, but the pair in final configuration will no doubt stop traffic.

Saying one of them is “oversized” is an understatement. Together they will be gigantic: eight stories tall.

Whew! With elevators: One stop to enter the SCA and another for entering the Shuttle.

A big jump in flight from the Wright Brothers’ plane to the space station and shuttle program.

Keeping fingers crossed display is done well.: stylish, informative, and scientific.

Enticing enough to encourage the next generation of explorers.

Get a little queasy thinking of the Space Shuttles, one of man’s greatest achievements, grounded – away from meaningful context – becoming a “see the two-headed snake” type of tourist attraction or a Disney-type ride

We need explorers more than amusement.

Transport sold to Space Center Houston by NASA. Passenger area. (Smiley N. Pool.Hou.Chron/Seattlepi.com)

Safe now, baby. No rusting away. No sand drifting up around you. No being forgotten for you. Passenger area waiting to be useful again. Tourists’ feet get tired! (Smiley N. Pool.Hou.Chron/Seattlepi.com)

I’ve been about this close to this Shuttle transport before.

In 2012, NASA flew the Shuttle Enterprise to NYC on SCA.

The pair bedded down for the night at Ellington Field.

The next morning before leaving the area, they flew over NASA’s Johnson Space Center – but more importantly, they flew over the neighborhoods.

Twice.

Very very low.

You cannot imagine what it was like.

Soaring right over your roof.

Gliding right down the street – as slow as possible

I swear I could see the pilot waving back at me.

Maybe N905NA winked. Promising to return soon.

Guess she heard us calling.

Good SCA! Good N905NA!

Come! Sit! Stay! Good!

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Space travel is moving on. Maybe in this direction? 

Related posts about space shuttles

Shuttle Endeavour aboard SCA. Sept.19.2012 flyover (Smiley N.Pool.Hou Chron/Seattlepi.com)

Few pictures of the shuttle piggybacking over my house. I was too busy  jumping and yelling. Besides, some say if you take a picture, you can trap the spirit. Couldn’t risk that. (Shuttle Endeavour aboard N905NA. Sept.19.2012 Houston farewell flyover.Smiley N.Pool.Hou Chron/Seattlepi.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 Comments

  1. easyweimaraner / Apr 30 2014 12:47 pm

    I wish I would live near you, that’s interesting to see such things :o)

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 30 2014 2:11 pm

      It is so crazy – seeing a 747 driving down the boulevard – 3 miles a hour – you could walk along….except where they moved people back when the worked on power lines and swung big highway signs out of the way (I’ll have to get more pix now that the barricades are down and streets open.)
      Stuff like this does make up for the weekend and summer traffic. Thanks for running by

      Like

  2. gingerfightback / Apr 30 2014 1:20 pm

    I’ve been there and bought a T-Shirt! Great images

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 30 2014 2:16 pm

      You were here, and I missed your wave (RC thumped me on the head at the rudeness) It is pretty cool around here – we forget sometimes until something like a 747 drives down the street. Hope you get back to climb aboard the shuttle and friend.(Boeing is donating a big chunk of necessary money) Thanks for swooping over

      Like

      • gingerfightback / Apr 30 2014 4:00 pm

        I am waving now – to make up for it.

        Like

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 30 2014 9:42 pm

          At least they could have given you a space rock to go with the T shirt. You came a long way. Cheers

          Like

  3. aFrankAngle / Apr 30 2014 1:55 pm

    A true giant in her field …. so cheers to your fitting tribute.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 30 2014 2:19 pm

      You’re right, Frank. It’s hard to get a real feeling for how big these planes are from sitting inside or walking through an airport ramp/tunnel. That big nose poking down the street. Will have to follow up with more pix as they work. Thanks for soaring over with a grand comment

      Like

  4. Littlesundog / Apr 30 2014 3:27 pm

    My goodness! I was just WOWED by the size of that thing! I can’t wait to see more photographs. I’ve seen a few houses (and a couple of old time churches) moved but never anything of this magnitude!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 30 2014 9:20 pm

      It is giant! And it rolled down the street. Really amazing. The Space Center grounds are like a big puzzle field right now. Will have to walk in and get some pictures. Not something that you see everyday – even around here. Thanks for flying in to chat

      Like

  5. PiedType / Apr 30 2014 4:56 pm

    For the space center, and maybe that alone, I envy your living there. I’m thrilled to hear they are saving one of the 747s. I will forever be in awe of those planes and the fact that, with a shuttle — a space shuttle! — mounted on top, they were still able to fly! But then, I will forever be in awe of our entire space program.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 30 2014 9:48 pm

      There is no way to describe what seeing that pair fly right over was like. Unexpected. We knew they were going to fly over NASA/JSC, but they came to visit specific streets where NASA people/astronaut families lived. Giant roar and it appeared. Don’t know how they managed it, but so appreciated. A real wonder – it’s just so huge – and it was flying.
      Really hope more wonder is ahead.
      Thanks for rocketing over

      Like

  6. sparrow / May 1 2014 1:07 am

    Neat! Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 1 2014 2:50 pm

      Hope there’s some big machinery moving around when you kids are a bit older – nothing is more exciting for kids than giant stuff. Thanks for rolling by to play

      Like

  7. Vikki Thompson / May 1 2014 6:54 am

    Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your support during the A-Z Challenge 🙂 xx

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 1 2014 2:52 pm

      Big things do roll around! (Your efforts were so impressive – That was a giant challenge with a few giggles – you had a great light hearted take on the task.) Thanks for rumbling over to toss a comment by

      Like

      • Vikki Thompson / May 2 2014 6:58 am

        Thank you, and you are very welcome 🙂 xx

        Like

  8. shoreacres / May 1 2014 12:59 pm

    I knew I could count on you! It’s like putting a huge jigsaw puzzle together over time. I shuttle here, an airplane there, and pretty soon you’ve got a real display! Kudos to those making this possible for the kiddos of all ages!

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 1 2014 3:04 pm

      There’s something oddly endearing about that plane nose – blimp-like, dolphin-like? You just want to give it a pat.
      It looks like someone dumped the toy box out and then ran off over there. Checked it out quickly yesterday, but no time to stop..planning a return trip. Boeing’s hometown is also giddy over their baby. So much more news in the Seattle/local papers there. Well, we’re all happy and enjoying it.
      (much too pretty and coooool to be stuck inside yesterday and today. Can you believe this weather?)
      Thanks for landing a comment over here

      Like

  9. Ally Bean / May 1 2014 1:15 pm

    This is way cool. [When I read about taking her apart, all I could think of was an episode of Northern Exposure in which Maggie and Maurice built a plane from parts. Not exactly the same thing, but all the attention to details involved– the same.]

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 1 2014 3:09 pm

      Wow. I had forgotten that episode. This is a “largest puzzle ever” record for the books for sure. I may be easily amused, but this whole idea and process is intriguing. Thanks for swooping in with a comment

      Like

  10. jannatwrites / May 1 2014 6:53 pm

    Wow, the photos look amazing, but I’m sure it doesn’t compare to seeing this ‘up close’ and in person. I hope those who dismantled it remember where all the parts go 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 1 2014 11:49 pm

      So many parts – wonder if the video it? Do they have all these little baggies or containers labeled? Talk about complicated. This is the first time Boeing has ever taken one of their planes apart. Went by to see what was going on at the home site today. Looks like giant dumped out their toy box, but they were busy moving it all around. Thanks for driving by

      Like

  11. Sun / May 3 2014 11:49 pm

    this is real interesting and it must have been a real treat to see the action…i really love that line about the tats. funny!! 🙂

    Like

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / May 4 2014 3:57 pm

      It was like living in a cartoon. No dimples in those cheeks – but still very cute. Thanks for rolling by

      Like

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