Mission 26: ET Comes Home Photographs by Gil Garcetti
On April 12, 2016, the last space shuttle external tank (ET) built for flight left NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana. Called ET-94, the tank traveled over 4,400 nautical miles on the barge Gulfmaster I, pulled by a tugboat named Shannon Dann. On its way to Los Angeles, ET-94 weathered a storm in the Cayman Islands, journeyed through the Panama Canal, and made its way up the Pacific Coast. When nearing California, the crew of Shannon Dann even stopped to rescue some stranded fishermen. And on May 18, ET-94 cruised in to Marina del Rey, where workers prepared it for a historic trip through city streets.
On May 21, 2016, a truck pulled the 154-foot-long tank through the streets of Inglewood and Los Angeles on its way to the California Science Center. As with the move of space shuttle Endeavour almost four years earlier, people from all over the city came out to celebrate, and astronauts escorted ET-94 the whole way. Gil Garcetti's images expertly capture the emotions and experiences from ET-94's momentous trek home.
Guests will find the exhibition inside the Endeavour Together gallery on the second floor of Ecosystems.