Share
Live

Space shuttle tank move: ET94 arrives home

Share

The fuel tank arrived at Exposition Park at about 6:15 p.m. It sailed through its route from Marina Del Rey to the California Science Center, arriving far ahead of schedule.

#ET94 arrives: ‘I wouldn’t miss this for the world’

Shortly after 7 p.m., thousands of spectators cheered, whistled and waved American flags as the tank inched its way to its final destination beside a pavilion housing the Space Shuttle at Exposition Park.

Among them was Monty Icenogle, 36, who traveled from Bakersfield. Icenogle, who has been blind since birth, is a Space Shuttle buff.

“I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” he said, as the immense fuel tank was being nestled into its new home just 100 yards away. “This will never happen again, but because it did today, we are now in the only place on earth where you will be able to admire a space shuttle in full launch configuration.”

“So, its final mission accomplished,” he said with a smile. “How cool is that?”

Louis Sahagun

Share

The crowd cheers. Almost there …

Share

Orange soda? Orange fuel tank? #ET94

Share

Kirby the dog escorts #ET94

Share
Advertisement

‘It’s getting closer, Mom! I can see it!’ #ET94

Mioko Lollis, 32, said her 11-year-old son, Jamier Flowers, had been talking for days about seeing the tank as it passed just a block from their home.

“This is like a once in a lifetime thing to see it,” Lollis said. “I remember watching it on the news, but for him, this is history.”

Flowers peered down the street. “It’s getting closer, Mom!” he said. “I can see it!”

Share

#ET94 is almost home! Expected to arrive at Expo Park between 5:30-7 p.m.

The fuel tank is almost home!

The space shuttle system’s last existing fuel tank is expected to arrive at Exposition Park between 5:30 p.m to 7 p.m, a spokeswoman for the California Science Center Foundation said.

Share

‘I’m not about to miss the conclusion — the big gas tank’ #ET94

Nancy Smith, 75, had arrived hours early to secure a ringside seat: A chair that was part of a dining room offered for sale on the sidewalk.

“I missed Part One of this story — the space shuttle — when it came through town four years ago,” she said.

“I’m not about to miss the conclusion — the big gas tank.”

Share

‘Look what we can do when we put our minds to it’ #ET94

As the tank rumbled north like a huge orange torpedo toward downtown, Eric Finister, 51, tightened his grip on a walking cane and weighed his words carefully.

“You’d think something this darn big couldn’t get off the ground,” he said. “Yet it lifted off of the face of the Earth and soared into the heavens to fetch new knowledge for mankind.”

He paused, then smiled, and added, “Look what we can do when we put our minds to it.”

Share
Advertisement

Photo gallery: Incredible shots of a gas tank that could’ve pulled people to the stars #ET94

Click through for photos of ET-94’s 16.5-mile journey from the beach to the California Science Center.

Read More

Share

‘Things are just great,’ as #ET94 heads for a final sprint

Proceeding gingerly in the company of giants, Jeffrey Rudolph, president and chief executive officer of the California Science Center, rode alongside ET-94 and its 42-tire transport vehicle as it began to turn from Manchester Avenue on to Vermont Avenue.

Wide roads at the intersection, roughly six miles south of downtown Los Angeles, provided an especially scenic opportunity for photographers as the 66,000-pound gas tank for the space shuttle scooted through the commercial area of pawn shops, thrift stores and nail salons with surprising efficiency and precision.

Nodding toward the jaw-dropping scale of it all, Rudolph shook his head in amazement and said: “I’ve been watching the thing closely out of concern that all goes well.”

“With the exception of a few minor delays early on,” added Rudolph, who planned to walk the entire 16.5-mile route with the tank, “things are just great.”

As Rudolph spoke, police officers used bullhorns to keep the crowds from spilling off the sidewalk and into the roadway, where crews had earlier dismantled light poles in the tank’s path.

Things are just great.

Jeffrey Rudolph, president of the California Science Center

Share

Fuel tank on track to arrive at Exposition Park at 5:30 or 6 p.m.

(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The fuel tank is on track to arrive at Exposition Park at 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m., said Mark Albrecht, director of operations for the company directing the move, Emmert International.

It will wait at Bill Robertson Lane for the green light to enter Exposition Park.

Share

Why, hello there, giant orange thing #ET94

Share
Advertisement

Fuel tank sails through one of its last hard turns #ET94

The fuel tank has sailed through one of its final turns.

It has left Manchester Avenue and is heading north up Vermont Avenue.

ET-94 has about four miles to go before reaching Exposition Park.

Share

There’s a fuel tank on the street! #ET94

Rolling toward the California Science Center.
(Patrick T. Fallon / Special to the Times)

Share

That’s a big nose, #ET94

Share

#ET94 approaches one of its last big turns

The behemoth fuel tank is approaching one of its last major turns on a public street: Manchester and Vermont avenues.

Share
Advertisement

Fuel tank passes halfway point and enters South L.A. #ET94

The colossal fuel tank has reached its last city border, leaving Inglewood and headed to its final home city: Los Angeles.

From the border at Manchester and Van Ness avenues, it’s less than 5 miles to reach Exposition Park, which is home to its final destination.

Share

#SpotTheTank: A blessed path as fuel tank leaves Inglewood

The gargantuan fuel tank is almost through Inglewood, about to turn into the Los Angeles city boundaries before it makes one of its last big turns on a public street.

The 15-story-long tank will turn left from Manchester Avenue onto Vermont Avenue between 2:30 and 4 p.m.

California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph said the journey has been great. “Things are going really well. We’re excited,” Rudolph said.

“We’re excited about getting this thing to the California Science Center and the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center,” he said.

Share

So many selfies with #ET94

Share

Dreaming of science and space

Share
Advertisement

#ET94 approaching halfway point: ‘Things are going really well’

Things are going really well. We’re excited. It’s great to see so many people out. We have a number of astronauts out. It’s great to see the kids interacting with them.

Share

The fuel tank passes by the Forum

Share

Future astronauts on scene?

Share

#ET94 parades past the Forum. Selfie time!

Share
Advertisement

Wow, that was a tight turn

One of the tightest turns of the day was when the fuel tank turned from La Brea Avenue onto Manchester Boulevard.

The tank made the turn without a scratch.

Share

Showing how it’s done: #ET94 makes the tight turn onto Manchester Boulevard

Share

Posing with the ladies

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. You’re not going to see it again, ever. 

Nancy Brent, of the San Fernando Valley, who has been following the shuttle fuel tank throughout the morning

Share

Success! #ET94 clears tricky intersection, now on Manchester Boulevard

The huge orange fuel tank steered through one of its trickiest turns with flying colors — a tight corner from La Brea Avenue onto Manchester Boulevard.

For all the drama this turn was expected to have, the crew seemed to maneuver through it without a sweat.

Share
Advertisement

Coming up: A very tricky turn for #ET94

One of the trickiest turns for the humongous fuel tank is coming up: a sharp right from La Brea Avenue onto Manchester Boulevard.

Signals and street lights will be moved.

Eight crew members will oversee the tight turn. Spotters will be in place to make sure the tank is not scratched.

Read More

Share

#ET94: ‘Look, everyone! That’s ginormous!’

Don’t you want to hug it? 

Dorothy Ramirez, 84

“It’s getting closer!”

“Whoa! That’s so giant!”

“Look, everyone! That’s ginormous!”

New friends Jonah Levy, 6, and Christopher Urbano, also 6, were trading exclamations as the 15-story orange fuel tank, ET-94, made its way slowly down Arbor Vitae Street near La Brea Avenue in Inglewood.

Christopher thought it looked like a punching bag. Jonah said he wanted to touch it because it looked so furry.

“I keeps trying to tell him it’s spray-on foam,” said Christopher’s mom, Melissa Levy, who works for Virgin Galactic.

Little Christopher wasn’t the only one who thought the tank looked cuddly. As it turned slowly onto La Brea Avenue, Dorothy Ramirez, 84, said, “Don’t you want to hug it?”

Share

Space shuttle fuel tank #ET94 crossing the 405 Freeway

The massive orange fuel tank crosses the 405 Freeway.

Share

How utility crews are taking down wires for the #ET94 fuel tank

Share
Advertisement

A tricky turn for #ET94 on La Brea Avenue, near Woody’s Bar-B-Que

Share

‘These kids are going to remember today their whole lives’

It’s this next generation of explorers. These kids are going to remember today their whole lives. And they’re going to think about it when they choose their career paths. They’re going to study harder in school. And it’s going to make us happy.

Astronaut Mike Fincke, who flew on the space shuttle Endeavour’s final flight in 2011

Share

‘Look at this, this is larger than life,’ a grandfather marvels

Anil Prasad, a grandfather, marveled at the space shuttle fuel tank.

“Look at this, this is larger than life,” Prasad said. “It’s the biggest thing we’ve seen.”

Crowds forced Prasad to abandon his first pick of a viewing spot, on Aviation Boulevard, so he headed farther east to get a better view.

“Everybody is trying to get near this,” he said. “It’s exciting.”

He ticked off what he knew about ET-94: It was a fuel tank for the space shuttle that never went into space.

“I can’t wait for it to be all assembled, so that I can take my grandchildren to go see that.”

I can’t wait for it to be all assembled, so that I can take my grandchildren to go see that.

Anil Prasad

Share

‘I want to touch it! It looks so furry!’ #ET94 in Inglewood

It felt like a street party in front of the Fast Auto Loans on Arbor Vitae Street and Eucalyptus Avenue. Branch manager Trashon Perkins, 39, had pumped up the music and was handing out juice boxes and snacks to the moderate crowd that lined the street.

They were here to catch a glimpse of ET-94 as it inched its way through the city. It was running a little behind schedule. Nobody minded.

Jonah Levy, 6, exclaimed: “I want to touch it! It looks so furry!”

Jimmy Diaz, 45, had two large Fuji-looking cameras hanging around his neck. He showed a fellow bystander pictures he had taken a few years ago when the space shuttle Endeavour made its way through the city. “Ever since growing up, and watching the space shuttle launches on the news at school, I’ve loved this stuff,” he said.

He had strategically parked 1.5 miles away to get some photos of the great orange tank as it passed the Forum.

Share
Advertisement

#ET94 preparing to make big turn from Arbor Vitae Street onto La Brea Avenue

Huge crowds have emerged in Inglewood as the giant fuel tank prepares to turn north onto La Brea Avenue.

Share

#ET94 moves again, now past Inglewood Boulevard on Arbor Vitae Street

Crowds are standing on trucks and balconies, with some waving American flags.

Share

#ET94 stops as workers trim a few branches off trees in Inglewood

The huge orange fuel tank has made a brief stop in Inglewood while crews to trim a few branches from a tree.

It was an unexpected delay, but the trimming is expected to be minor at Arbor Vitae and Oak streets.

A utility truck was on the scene, and a worker was being lifted to do the snips.

Share

Oh, the anticipation of waiting for #ET94

Share
Advertisement

#ET94 fuel tank arrives in Inglewood on Arbor Vitae Street

Share

A long wait for #ET94: ‘It’s gonna take a while. A few hours.’

This is like watching a lasagna cook. It’s just very slow.

Micro Michaels

Share

‘It’s a piece of history’

It’s kind of cool to be able to see it amongst our buildings and streets, because it pretty much dwarfs everything.

Steve Crawford, who came with his wife, Michele, and 11-year-old son, Cameron

Share

ET-94 tank passes by Airport Boulevard on Westchester Parkway, approaching Inglewood

Share
Advertisement

Aspiring astronaut waiting for #ET94 fuel tank

A few children with handmade astronaut helmets lined up Arbor Vitae Street.

Real NASA astronauts came by and took photographs with them.

“The kids are really excited to see the tank go through,” said Christopher Nwani of the Destiny Development Center: “The teachers have been teaching them more about this tank and its purpose and how it helps propel the shuttle into orbit.”

The kids are really excited!

Christopher Nwami of Destiny Development Center, a preschool

Share

Shuttle tank passes Sepulveda Boulevard on Westchester Parkway

Share

L.A. waking up to see humongous orange fuel tank

Cheers greeted the giant orange fuel tank lumbering on the streets of Los Angeles this morning.

In the predawn hours, dozens of onlookers lined Fiji Way in Marina del Rey. They sprawled on the ground, snapping shots of the tank against the sky. And they posed for selfies, some holding their arms out to mimic its huge size.

Vivianne Robinson, 58, rode her bike from Santa Monica, where she works as a grocery store bagger. She got off work at 11 p.m. and rushed to Marina del Rey, wearing large shuttle earrings and a T-shirt showing a shuttle launching, to see ET-94 start rolling.

“That mankind can make something that incredible?” Robinson said, her voice trailing off as she stared up at it.

“Even though I worked all day, there was no way I was going to miss this,” she said.

Read More

Share

Just cruising on Lincoln

Share
Advertisement

The tricky turn at Manchester

Share

‘And so can I’

Look at it, against the night sky and moon and stars, and think of all the thousands of kids who are going to see this. They are going to say, ‘People made this. And so can I.’

Paula Madison, member of the California Science Center Foundation Board of Trustees

Share

Around the bend

Share

No one said this would be easy

Share
Advertisement

Leaning into the turn

Share

And it’s photogenic too

Share

Pass the hot chocolate

Share

Just movin’ along

Share
Advertisement

Out in the moonlight

Share

It takes all kinds

Share

Now it’s a party

Share

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

Share
Advertisement

Light show

Share

All this and a full moon too

Share

Just the spot for ‘space and science nerds’

ET-94, the 15-story orange tank, had celebrity status in Marina del Rey Friday night before it took off on its journey through city streets.

The tank, sitting in a parking lot at Fisherman’s Village, could be seen across the marina at Burton Chace Park, where Los Angeles County hosted an outer-space-themed public party.

In the park, a giant banner read: “Marina del Rey Welcomes ET-94.” Crowds lined up at a fence by the water to snap selfies and gaze at the tank. One man wore a shirt that read, “Occupy Mars.”

“It looks like the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile,” Michael Jimenez, 30, of Playa Vista said, laughing, as he took photos of ET-94 from the park. Jimenez had come with his wife and cousin to see the tank and wondered aloud what it would look like standing upright, with the shuttle Endeavour, in its new home at the California Science Center.

Lisa Lascody, of Marina del Rey, had come Wednesday morning to see the tank arrive by sea barge and said she couldn’t resist the space party and a few more photos with ET-94. She wore a T-shirt that said, “Space: The Final Frontier.”

But she was outdone by her friend Tara Lewis of Palms, who works in the fashion industry. Lewis was decked out in a full orange NASA astronaut costume and a bright green wig.

“We’re space and science nerds,” Lewis said. The Endeavour and now the tank? It was all pretty cool, she said.

Another woman snapping photos of the ET-94 put it this way: “It’s so random.”

Share

How to avoid a jam getting to LAX during Saturday’s space shuttle tank move

Beware: Roads north of Los Angeles International Airport will face rolling closures Saturday morning as the giant orange space shuttle fuel tank makes the big move.

If you’re heading to LAX from the north, here are key streets to avoid:

  • Lincoln Boulevard / Pacific Coast Highway
  • Sepulveda Boulevard at Westchester Parkway
  • Westchester Parkway

Share
Advertisement

Space shuttle fuel tank readied for final land journey

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The space shuttle fuel tank ET-94 is ready for its final journey home.

On Saturday, at 12:01 a.m., the 15-story tank will begin its trek to the California Science Center museum in Los Angeles.

Once part of a fleet of 136 external fuel tanks that flew during the shuttle program, ET-94 is the last remaining flight-ready tank in existence. The tanks detach from the shuttle and break up in the atmosphere.

Read More

Share

How the space shuttle fuel tank will turn a sharp corner

One of the toughest corners for the tank to maneuver will be the right turn from La Brea Avenue onto Manchester Boulevard.

Crews will need to move signals and street lights, and eight crew members will oversee the turn. The tank sits on a 32-wheel transport device pulled by a truck.

Here’s a look at how it’ll be done:

As the truck veers right, the front dollies follow while the rear dollies are steered manually.

A steerman makes sure that the external tank and its rear tail clear all obstructions.

(Raoul Ranoa / Los Angeles Times)

The tank comes to a stop and all crew, except for the rear spotter and superintendent, will move away before it travels again.

Share

How will the space shuttle fuel tank be transported?

Share

Where can I see the space shuttle tank today? #ETComesHome

The giant orange fuel tank, called ET-94, is on its final stretch. Its expected arrival is now forecast between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Share