External Tank
NASA/Lockheed Martin

Mission 26: ET Comes Home

The journey of the External Tank (ET-94)

Moving day across the streets of Los Angeles and Inglewood

The journey through the streets to the Science Center kicked off at midnight, and took about 17 hours. The journey across the cities of Los Angeles and Inglewood took the external tank by landmarks like the 405 freeway, and the Forum.  ET-94 arrived in Exposition Park on Saturday, May 21st just before 7 pm. Now, when you visit space shuttle Endeavour, you'll also be able to catch a glimpse of ET-94! Now that we have it, we are one step closer to being able to preserve and display the only existing full stack of real Solid Rocket Boosters, Orbiter, and External Tank in the world.

ET-94 in Marina del Rey

After an eventful 4,400 nautical mile journey, ET-94 reached Marina del Rey on May 18. After leaving the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, it rode out a storm in the Cayman Islands, passed through the Panama Canal, and made its way up the Pacific Coast, where it played a part in rescuing a group of stranded fisherman after their boat sank. On May 18, ET-94 cleared the breakwater of the marina at dawn, and slowly docked next to Fisherman’s Village. The external tank was driven off the barge in a delicate offloading procedure, and was welcomed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Science Center President Jeffrey Rudolph, among other civic leaders and elected officials. After arriving in Marina del Rey, “Mission 26: ET Comes Home” still had 16 miles left to go through the streets of Los Angeles and Inglewood!

ET to the Rescue!

On May 12 at 7:15 pm, a fishing charter boat named Maximus sank off the coast of Mexico. Four people who were aboard were discovered floating in a life boat and rescued by the Captain of a tug boat named Shannon Dann – the one pulling ET-94! The Shannon Dann and the external tank were approaching San Diego for a stop to go through customs, on the way to Marina del Rey and the California Science Center. Three of the four people who were rescued are Americans, and stayed aboard the tug boat until it reached San Diego. ET-94 officially arrived in San Diego, and crew of the Maximus are safe and reunited with their loved ones.

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