Cranes this morning will begin removing a pair of shuttle solid rocket boosters and an external tank that have been prominently displayed for over a decade at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Shuttle Plaza.
Moving the equipment this week will start to clear room for the $100-million exhibit facility the visitor center plans to build to house the retired shuttle orbiter Atlantis, which could arrive on site late next year.
The mockup orbiter Explorer is expected to be shipped within a month or so to Space Center Houston at Johnson Space Center.
The boosters, each 100,000 pounds, include real and replica components; the 87,000-pound external tank is real, restored hardware.
Two cranes operated by Beyel Bros. will lift and move each piece onto a transporter for transfer to a temporary storage on Ransom Road on KSC property.
IMAGE: An aerial view of Shuttle Plaza at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. "Explorer," a full-size orbiter replica, allows guests to picture more clearly what it's like to live and work in space. Full-size, genuine solid rocket boosters and an external tank are also on display, representing all three components of a space shuttle.