Space Center Houston, which serves as the official visitor center for NASA's Johnson Space Center, revealed plans on Thursday (May 2) to display its full-size space shuttle mockup atop the historic jumbo jetliner that ferried the real orbiters after their return from space and delivered them to their museum homes.
NASA transferred ownership of its original Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), a modified Boeing 747 jet, to Space Center Houston on Thursday, setting in motion the visitor center's plans to pair the replica shuttle it received last June with the airplane that landed in Houston five months later. [How NASA Flew Space Shuttles on 747 Jets (Photos)]
"This is an exciting day for Texans, as we accept the SCA from NASA and assume the awesome responsibility for its modifications, showcasing its legacy and adding a one-of-a-kind experience to our complex," said Richard Allen, president and CEO of Space Center Houston. "We look forward to accepting the challenge of raising funds for this amazing endeavor as we prepare for the next phase of this major expansion."
The new $12 million outdoor complex, named "The Shuttle and 747 Carrier," is to open to the public in February 2015.