Moving the Aircraft that Moved the NASA Space Shuttles
Agility Project Logistics planned and managed the complex move of a retired Boeing 747 aircraft used by NASA to ferry space shuttle orbiters from landing sites back to their launch site in the United States. Agility selected the transport vendor, rigging company, and mobile crane provider and analyzed roads to enable the 1,000-foot-long convoy to move nearly eight miles over a two-night period. The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) was moved from Ellington Airport in Houston to Space Center Houston, where it will be mounted in the ferry configuration with a replica of the space shuttle Independence as part of a permanent exhibit expected to open to the public in 2015. Agility oversaw the transportation of 318,000 pounds of aircraft parts, the largest of which was the fuselage measuring 25 feet wide and 35 feet tall. The project required the use of seven different trailers moving along a pre-selected road that had been temporarily blocked off. Street lamps, traffic lights, and utility and power lines were moved or lifted out of the convoy’s path. The convoy reached its final destination successfully and the aircraft is being reassembled at Space Center Houston.