May 23, 2016

LOS ANGELES INVADED BY GIANT YELLOW SPACE BANANA:

For months, Los Angeles has been gearing up for the transport of a huge space shuttle fuel tank, aka the giant yellow space banana, from Marina del Rey to Exposition Park, where it will join the space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center. (The Endeavour made its own cool, parade-like trip through LA a couple years ago.)

Now, the fuel tank, ET-94, is here and it’s gearing up for its move, and that means some brief street closures. LADOT, via KPCC, has maps listing when the streets will be closed and when they are roughly anticipated to be open again, but cautions that the reopening times are dependent on everything going smoothly—the tank moving through and the utilities getting back online in a timely manner.

I’m old enough to remember these tanks flew to an altitude of 70 miles at several times the speed of sound, rather than being driven through city streets at about 10 mph. But that was before NASA was “fundamentally transformed” right out of its old job into something, far, far more important than going into space.

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