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'It's huge!': Endeavour shuttle fuel tank makes its way through the Panama Canal




Carrie Kahn
Carrie Kahn
Carrie Kahn
Carrie Kahn


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In the fall of 2012, the space shuttle Endeavour wowed crowds as it traveled 12-miles throughout Southern California.

It went from Los Angeles International Airport, through Inglewood, to the California Science Center in Exposition Park.

Now a massive fuel tank built for the space shuttle is on its way to L.A. via the Panama Canal.

NPR correspondent Carrie Kahn was there as the tank made its way through the canal yesterday and she took a moment to speak to Take Two host Alex Cohen about its journey.

Interview Highlights

Describing the fuel tank:

"It's huge! It's really big and its very long. It's longer than the shuttle...they call it the banana I was expecting to see this long yellow thing come through but it's very rusted colored orange, oxidized. And it looks like a bullet...it actually is the shape of a certain bullet size and it was really big to see it come through the canal."

On the route:

"It was outside New Orleans, in Louisiana at a NASA facility there and that's where these fuel tanks were built. And there was a large number of fuel tanks that were used in the shuttle operations for many years until the Columbia disaster and that's why this is the only remaining fuel tank left of its kind. So, the California science center wanted that because what they want to do...they want to construct an exhibit where the shuttle is actually upright and it is in launch position and they have the rocket boosters...and they wanted the fuel tank."

To hear the full interview, click the blue play button above.