Photography Magazine

Space Shuttle “Explorer”

By Htam
Space Shuttle “Explorer”

@ Kennedy Space Center, FL

April 2012

Built by Florida modelmakers Guard-Lee, the replica Space Shuttle “Explorer” is shown here at the Kennedy Space Center before heading West to her new home at the Space Center Houston museum. She had been on  display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex since 1993.  This replica shuttle was stripped of the name Explorer as part of the dismantling process, prior to the barge trip to Houston.  Space Center Houston had also acquired NASA 905, one of NASA’s two modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, and this replica was mounted onto the SCA for display.  A competition to name the shuttle opened on July 4, 2013 with over 10,000 entries received, the winning name being “Independence”.  Independence underwent extensive renovation in 2013 and 2014 to repair damaged components and update its appearance to more closely match that of the modern shuttle fleet. Modifications include a re-skinning of the exterior, replica thermal tiles, publicly accessible mid-deck and payload bay, a glass cockpit on the flight deck, and display cases with shuttle program artifacts.  Canon G9 photo.

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