Press Release

‘Rise of Independence’ Will Create International Landmark

By SpaceRef Editor
July 29, 2014
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What: The massive space shuttle replica Independence will be lifted by a 282-foot-tall (86 meter) crane to its permanent home atop Space Center Houston’s historic shuttle carrier aircraft. The “Rise of Independence” is a free public event to celebrate this historic moment. Rain or other inclement weather will postpone the event. Updates will be posted on both the center website ( and Facebook page ( 

When: Thursday, Aug. 14. The lift will be at 8 a.m. A ceremony preceding the lift will begin at 7:15 a.m. with notable speakers.

Where: Space Center Houston Parking Lot, 1601 NASA Parkway, Houston, TX 77058.

Who: Speakers include NASA JSC Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Space Center Houston President and CEO Richard Allen Jr. and retired astronaut Col. Eileen Collins (USAF, Ret.), the first female to pilot and command a space shuttle. 

Best Photo Ops:

*The crane lifting and maneuvering the 160,000 lb. (72,600 kg) shuttle replica onto the historic SCA.

*Engineers and skilled crane personnel coordinating lift operations.

*The “Lift Crew” (a group of Houston-area music students) in hard hats, playing violins and leading the countdown.

*The public, NASA and Space Center Houston representatives and government officials.

Other Background: The SCA and Independence will be an unprecedented, international landmark standing over eight stories tall and featuring interactive exhibits once it opens in 2015. Visitors will be able to enter both vehicles — an experience unavailable anywhere else in the world.

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The Manned Space Flight Education Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit space museum with an extensive science education program. The cornerstone of its science education mission is Space Center Houston, which USA Today called “The Big Draw” in the greater Houston area with nearly 800,000 visitors annually and a $45 million economic impact on the greater Houston area. It is the official visitor center of NASA’s Johnson Space Center and draws more than 100,000 teachers and students annually from around the world. For more information, go to

SpaceRef staff editor.