PORTLAND, Ore., May 17, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It has been almost five years since the space shuttle Endeavour crawled through the streets of Los Angeles. Then, last year, NASA graciously agreed to donate the last space fuel tank in existence to its new home on the West Coast. This fuel tank, named ET-94, has been making its long journey to the California Space Center over the last month with the help of Emmert International engineers.
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6d71fdb0-ff31-46f1-9aa4-47317de78eff
ET-94 is the size of a 15-story building, a massive object too large to transport by land because of its size and shape. Emmert International was up for the challenge of engineering a way to get the tank from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. With the mindset of “if you can’t go through it, go around,” Emmert International came to the conclusion that securely strapping the tank to a barge and pulling it behind a tugboat at sea would ultimately make the perfect vessel of transportation.
Starting at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, the barge traveled approximately six days, at 7 mph, to the Panama Canal. Just like cruise ships and transport barges, ET-94 went through the maze of locks and made it out on the other side, an accomplishment in the expedition. After the canal and a sigh of relief, it was straight onto California for ET-94 and crew.
As the tank approached the end of its voyage, Emmert International got a surprise off the shore of Mexico. A sinking fishing boat was spotted, and floating near by was a raft carrying four panicked men, three American and one Hispanic. As if the whole relocation process wasn't exhilarating enough, the American survivors hitched a ride with ET-94 and Emmert International to land while the Mexican Navy took the Hispanic fisherman safely home.
The hardest part is yet to come, transporting the fuel tank through the streets of Los Angeles. Emmert International has to logistically plan for power lines, telephone poles, coordinating street lights, and navigating around highway overpasses. This transport will be no easy task for the team, but Emmert International is well known for logistical and engineering transportation accomplishments such as this.
ET-94 was built for flight, but never got very far off the ground. External fuel tanks are the only non-reusable part of the space shuttle, and they burn up when reentering the atmosphere. This fuel tank will make a wonderful addition to the California Science Center, allowing the general population of space lovers and enthusiasts to view and learn from this incredible piece of history.
Emmert International was founded in 1968 by Terry Emmert of Clackamas, Oregon. Relocating large objects and buildings is a specialty of Emmert International, and they have been the industry leader from the start. Pushing the boundaries, Emmert International has made technological advances in engineering by taking on substantial projects and going above and beyond. The most infamous moves have been the Spruce Goose, Hubbell Telescope, and 3.2 million-pound Fairmont Hotel. Their expertise and success has been a testament to the professionalism they provide to every job they take on.
For more information on ET-94 or to learn more about what Emmert International can move, head to www.emmertintl.com
Video footage of the fisherman rescue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMUsSmQ-DvM&feature=youtu.be
Video credit: The Planetary Society