The trek is characterized as "The Big Move" by Space Center Houston. Officials say 30 public, private and government agencies are taking part in the endeavor to bring the modified 747 to its new home. The dismantled aircraft will be part of a 1,000 foot long convoy which will crawl at just 3 miles per hour to its destination. The largest section being moved intact is the fuselage itself. That measures 25 feet wide by 35 feet tall. It is 190 feet long, officials say, roughly the height of Niagara Falls or as long as two NBA basketball courts.
Roads close from 9pm until 4:30am on Monday and Tuesday so utility crews and contractors can dismantle traffic lights, signs and utility poles for effort. Some businesses along Highway 3 are closing early in an effort to ease traffic congestion tonight. Once at Space Center Houston, the shuttle carrier aircraft will be reassembled and the shuttle replica Independence will be placed on top. It took 38 days to disassemble the plane and will take 44 days to reassemble.
This 747 flew at least 247 missions over the life of the space shuttle program. It served as a critical part of the space shuttle program, flying the orbiters piggyback to Florida after landings elsewhere.
The portion of Highway 3/Old Galveston Road between its intersections with Scarsdale and NASA Parkway will close tonight 9pm to 6am. Then on Tuesday, April 29, the westbound portion of NASA Parkway from Highway 3 to Saturn Lane will close 9pm to 6am. (SEE ROUTE MAP)
So if you're traveling in this area tonight or tomorrow night, plan for a little extra time.
Crews hope to have the shuttle carrier at Space Center Houston on Wednesday morning.