Okay--continuing our theme from yesterday, the Johnson Space Center in Houston is getting its own shuttle, now, too, and not only that, but Texans--always the mavericks--will get to vote on a name for it.
Previously displayed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida under the name "Explorer," the full-scale mockup is to be displayed mounted atop the customized 747 jet that once served as the ferry vehicle for the Space Shuttle fleet. Once the exhibit is completed sometime in 2015, the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft NASA 905 will be the only place in the world where the public can see the insides of a Shuttle Carrier, as well as the mock-up orbiter. The jet will be cut up into sections for transport to the Houston facility, then reassembled as part of the $12 million dollar restoration project.
Prior to shipping, the "Explorer" had its name removed from its hull. Now Texans get to vote on a new name " that symbolizes the spirit of Texas and its unique characteristics of independence, optimism and can-do attitude." The contest will open July 4th and run through September 2nd.
The shuttles were named after ships of exploration and discovery. It will be interesting to see whether Texans decide to stick with this convention, or come up with something original.