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May 10, 2000

Eileen Hawley
Johnson Space Center, Houston TX
(281/483-5111)

Release: J00-29

Retired KC-135 Aircraft Finds a Home at Ellington Field

Houston Mayor Lee Brown and the City of Houston will take ownership of one of NASA’s training aircraft at a dedication ceremony at Ellington Field on May 15.

The Mayor will lead a contingent of city and state dignitaries in the dedication ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Ellington Field’s main gate. NASA 930, the fourth KC135 Aircraft, is more commonly known as the “Weightless Wonder” or “Vomit Comet.” After flying more than 58,000 parabolas – roller-coaster like maneuvers that provide brief periods of weightlessness – the plane was retired in 1995 and is now on permanent display at Ellington Field, near the Johnson Space Center.

The City of Houston and JSC worked together as partners to memorialize the retired aircraft that provided many astronauts their first “Zero G” experience and offered researchers a unique laboratory to test equipment, techniques and hardware for use in space flight.

NASA 930, configured to appear ready for takeoff, is now prominently displayed at the main gate to Ellington Field on Aerospace Blvd., just off Highway 3. Media wishing to attend the event should contact Ernie DeSoto of the Houston Airport System at 281/233-1975 (pager 888/527-9626) for information and accreditation.

 

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