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Space Shuttle Trainer To Arrive On Super Guppy

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(Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

(Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

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SEATTLE (AP) — A gigantic piece of space history is set to splash down at Seattle’s Museum of Flight on Saturday.

Although the Space Shuttle Trainer has never left the earth’s atmosphere, museum officials say Seattle has won the biggest prize in the competition to show and explain this period in NASA history. Visitors won’t just get to look at the space artifact arriving this weekend, they will be able to climb aboard.

The full-scale plywood mock-up looks like a space shuttle without wings. The payload bay is scheduled to arrive in two pieces in July and August and a mock-up of the engine section is being assembled locally.

The shuttle trainer was used by every astronaut to ever fly aboard a space shuttle.

Weather on Saturday could dampen the plans of fly by’s due to a low cloud ceiling and rain, but should not delay the Super Guppy’s landing at Boeing Field at 11am.

The expected schedule at Boeing’s Museum Of Flight is:

9:30 a.m. Museum and parking open

Sounders Sound Wave performance

10:30 a.m. Super Guppy fly-by (Weather Permitting)

11:00 a.m. Super Guppy lands

11:45 a.m. Welcome ceremony

1:00 p.m. Space Shuttle Trainer unloads

2:00 p.m. Space Shuttle Trainer begins move to Charles Simonyi Space Gallery

2:30 p.m. Astronaut autograph signing in Great Gallery (Museum Members only)

Super Guppy Viewing (until 4 p.m.)

4:00 p.m. Space Shuttle Trainer moves inside Charles Simonyi Space Gallery

5:00 p.m. Charles Simonyi Space Gallery closed

The main parking lot will be closed to make way for the Super Guppy.  Signs and volunteers will direct traffic to parking lots north and south of the museum. More information is available at museumofflight.org.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press, with contributions from CBS Seattle.

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