ET Comes Home: Last Space Shuttle Fuel Tank Begins Slow Ride From New Orleans To Los Angeles

  • by: Alan Duke

The last external fuel tank remaining from the now-defunct space shuttle program is on a long, slow journey from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to Los Angeles, where it will be attached to the Shuttle Endeavour.

The huge orange tank is named ET-94 (the 94th external tank produced by NASA.) It was originally ordered to be used by the Shuttle Columbia, but that spaceship was destroyed during a return to earth in 2003. Instead, ET-94 was closely studied by investigators for clues about what caused the Columbia accident.

The tank has been loaded onto a barge for a trip from New Orleans through the Panama Canal and then to southern California. The tank will loaded onto a 42-wheel transportation device for 16.5 mile drive from Marina Del Rey at 5 mph to the California Science Center on May 21, 2016.

It will be attached to the Endeavour, which was dramatically moved to the center in 2012. Visitors will eventually be able to view shuttle in its launch pad configuration, with the fuel tank and booster rockets.

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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