MARINA DEL REY (CBSLA.com) — ET is getting ready to roll home.
ET-94, the 66,000-pound external space shuttle fuel tank that arrived in Marina del Rey Wednesday, will begin its final journey home to the California Science Center in Exposition Park Friday night.
The 13- to 18-hour trek through Los Angeles is scheduled to begin before dawn Saturday. The caravan will travel at about 5 mph down Lincoln and Culver boulevards to Westchester Parkway, then through Inglewood on Arbor Vitae Street to La Brea Avenue, past the Forum and north on Vermont Avenue to the museum.
The shuttle Endeavour made a similar trip through the city in October 2012, attracting thousands of spectators who lined the streets from Los Angeles International Airport to Exposition Park.
The tank, the only major, non-reusable part of the space shuttle, is neither as wide as Endeavour, nor as high, although it is longer. Because of its size, fewer utilities will be affected and no trees will be removed along the route from the coast to Exposition Park, as was the case when Endeavour was hauled to its new home in 2012.
The 16.5-mile path ET-94 will take through the streets was planned with input from city officials, utilities and community groups.
The massive orange tank began its journey to Los Angeles on April 10, when it was pulled out of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana. Two days later, it was tugged into the Gulf of Mexico to begin a voyage that took it through the Panama Canal.
ET-94, which was never used, is NASA’s last remaining shuttle external tank. Unlike the solid rocket boosters and the shuttles themselves, the orange external fuel tanks were used only once because they broke apart before they came down in the ocean.
Before ET-94 makes begins the final leg of its journey, the county is sponsoring a Party in the Park at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. The festivities will feature a DJ playing music, food trucks and space-themed carnival games and activities.
Several road closures will be in effect throughout the night to accommodate ET-94’s journey.
Friday, May 20, 2016 (9:00 a.m.) – Saturday, May 21, 2016 (6:00 a.m.)
Fiji Way to Lincoln Boulevard
Lincoln Boulevard north to Mindanao Way
Mindanao Way east to the California (90) Freeway
The 90 Freeway east to Culver Boulevard
Culver Boulevard west back to Lincoln Boulevard
Lincoln Boulevard south to Manchester Avenue
Saturday, May 21, 2016 (1:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.)
Lincoln Boulevard south to Westchester Parkway
Westchester Parkway east to Arbor Vitae Street
Arbor Vitae Street east into the City of Inglewood
Saturday, May 21, 2016 (1:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Manchester Avenue east to Vermont Avenue
Vermont Avenue north Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard
Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard east to Bill Robertson Lane
Bill Robertson Lane to final destination (California Science Center)
City officials say re-opening times depend on the fuel cell’s movement through each area and restoration for the utility work that follows.
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