UPDATE: Heavy fog rolled in early this morning and delayed the aircraft's move. Expect some traffic delays.

HOUSTON — People gathered on the side of state Highway 3 on Monday night to see sections of the eight-story Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft inch their way toward Space Center Houston.

In between intersections, bystanders and members of the work crew were taking selfies and FaceTiming with their smartphones and iPads as they waited for power lines to be disassembled so the massive aircraft could advance down the street.

Laura Larkin, whose father used to be the director of Johnson Space Center, brought her 7-year-old twin daughters Abigail and Anna to see the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.

Anna really likes space, especially planets.

“It’s going to be really cool,” she said. “I wanted to come see it.”

This isn’t the first time the family has seen the aircraft. Three years ago, they got to go inside the plane when it came to Ellington Field.

“We’re really happy and excited it’s going to be here,” Laura Larkin said. “I think it’ll be really fun for the kids.”

Peter Mikkelson of League City brought his 4-year-old son Benjamin to see the aircraft travel down the street.

“This is the last time we’ll get to see this thing out in the open,” Mikkelson said. “This is a historic moment.”

Benjamin loves space. While he’s never seen a shuttle take off, Mikkelson said his son has many books on the subject.

“He loves the space industry,” Peter Mikkelson said.

As an engineer with ExxonMobil, he said he’s used to seeing large vessels brought to the plant. However, the vessels are usually brought by boat, not through public streets like the Boeing 747.

“This is much different,” he said. “It’s a huge undertaking, and it’s really impressive to see.”

Bud Bradley, an engineer at Boeing, came to Houston from Seattle to help with the aircraft’s reassembly.

Bradley said the weather was perfect for an project of this magnitude.

“We were hoping the wind would calm down,” he said. “Last night would have been troublesome.”

Bradley said it’s fantastic to be a part of the move. He said he only knows of three companies that have taken apart a plane and moved it to a different area.

He was surprised at the amount of people who came to watch the aircraft’s final journey.

“It’s neat that they let people out here,” he said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime.”


(3) comments

Sandi Jerome Pevoto

Will we be able to get down Nasa Rd. 1 from Highway 3 to MD Anderson Cancer Center on Wednesday April 30 and Thursday May 1?

TJ Aulds Staff
TJ Aulds

Traffic is scheduled only to be affected between 9 pm and 4:30 am tonight and into tomorrow morning.

Marylee Ellison

Glad to see the Shuttle carrier back in Houston. I worked at NASA quite awhile...this is a funny story...I frequently walked during my lunch hour and many visitors were seeing the sites inside and outside. Giant rockets were placed in an area roped off right inside the front gate on the lawn. A family had wandered up to the rockets that were outside on a portion of the lawn where visitors could get a good look. I spoke, asked where they were from (some tiny town in West Texas)...the dad askedn in his West Texas drawl, "when are they gonna take off?" I smiled and said they were only part of a NASA display for visitors to see.

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