LOS ANGELES, May 21 (UPI) -- NASA began moving a massive fuel tank used to carry propellants to Space Shuttle engines through the streets of Los Angeles Saturday to its new home at the California Science Center.
Several roads were closed as the 164-foot long, 65,000-pound external tank, or ET-94, was towed through the streets of Los Angeles.
"Resting on its side, the tank is half the length of a football field. So it presents a different set of navigational challenges -- which, coincidentally, make for some great math problems," Ota Lutz of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory wrote.
The ET-94 is the last flight-qualified external tank in existence and traveled from NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to California after being donated to the Science Center.
An identical tank, ET-93, was used to transport the ill-fated Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003. The ET-94 was extensively studied to determine whether the "deferred-build" tank style contributed to the accident and many pieces of foam were removed from the tank.
Once it arrives at the California Science Center and is restored the center will be the only place where people can view an orbiter, external tank, and solid rocket boosters with all real flight hardware in launch configuration together.