When I first heard that Los Angeles had won the competition to house an orbiter at the science museum on Exposition Boulevard, I scratched my head, trying to imagine how they were going to get it there. At the Space Technology Expo, the museum had a booth, and I asked the young lady working there. “Oh, we’re still working it out.”
[shocked voice] “You didn’t have to submit a plan with the proposal?”
“No, not a detailed one.”
At the SpaceUp LA a couple weeks ago, we saw a description of the plan, using a very precision crawler, in which it was noted that a “few” trees might have to be removed.
Well, “a few” has turned into four hundred mature trees, and the locals, justifiably, aren’t happy about it. I wonder how much support the project would have gotten if they’d known this up front?
Anyway, one of the amusing things about the LA Times piece is the technical ignorance on display:
Several alternatives for the Oct. 12 move were considered but ultimately discarded.
Taking the massive shuttle apart would have damaged the delicate tiles that acted as heat sensors.
The tiles are not “heat sensors.” They are heat protectors, insulating the vehicle from the hot plasma of entry. The heat must be shielded against, not just “sensed.”