Johnson Space Center Shuttle Independence opens to public in January

Crews assemble the Shuttle Independence display at Space Center Houston. Officials announced this week that the exhibit will open to the public in January.


Officials with Space Center Houston said the two-year project to build an interactive Space Shuttle display would make its public debut in January.

Independence Plaza, which featured a replica of a shuttle atop of NASA 905 carrier aircraft, will open for the first time Jan. 23. Space Center Houston made the announcement about the exhibit’s opening on its Facebook page on Wednesday. 

The exhibit will be the only one of its kind, officials said. Visitors will be able to enter through the replica shuttle Independence and then walk through the Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft that ferried space shuttles across the country for more than 20 years.

On board there will be exhibits that will review the history of the shuttle era and how it paved the way for future space exploration. There will also be several science and math education exhibits within the exhibit, officials said. 

So far Space Center Houston has raised $10.1 million of the $12 million needed to create the exhibit. The replica was on display at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

When Houston was passed over to receive one of the three real space shuttles, the replica, which was originally named Explorer, was sent to Space Center Houston in 2012. 

At the time officials said they would create an exhibit like no other in the country.

Last year the retired Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft was sent to Space Center Houston for the Independence Plaza display.

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