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A 15-Story Space Shuttle Fuel Tank Made Its Way, Slowly, Through Los Angeles

The 66,000-pound fuel tank made its way from the harbor to just south of downtown Los Angeles, where it will be reunited with the shuttle Endeavour.

Posted on May 21, 2016, at 9:26 p.m. ET

The 15-story fuel tank that is to be attached to Space Shuttle Endeavour wound its way — very slowly — through the crowded streets of Los Angeles, drawing fans and curious onlookers to marvel at the massive tank of space history.

Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

The route is only 16 miles from Marina del Rey to its destination at the California Science Center, but moving the tank, named ET-94, was a work of engineering itself.

Watch closely at #ETComesHome rocks a little from side to side. Eeeeasy does it!

The tank's trip was expected to take up to 18 hours as it was carefully transported.

Turning onto Manchester from La Brea! #ETComesHome #spotthetank

I mean, this thing is seriously huge.

Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

Just look at this 66,000-pound fuel tank try to turn.

Big turn into westchester parkway. #ET94 #ETComesHome #SpotTheTank

The trip started early Saturday morning from Marina del Rey, but ET-94 was originally transported by ship from New Orleans, through the Panama Canal, to the West Coast.

Francine Orr / Getty Images

The fuel tank was donated by NASA last year to the California Science Center, where it will be re-attached to Endeavour and put on display in launching position, the center said.

That meant that Angelenos got a chance to marvel as it crawled through city streets, and they came decked out in their space-wear best.

Richard Vogel / AP


Hands down, best #ET94 watching shoes ever! #etcomehome

These guys were human traffic cones for the trip.

Richard Vogel / AP

There were even astronauts like Sandy Magnus for what seemed more like a parade than transport mission.

Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

And you had to snap a selfie with ET-94, obviously.

Richard Vogel / AP

Fuel tanks are the only major non-reusable part of a space shuttle, but ET-94 was never used. It was the last remaining fuel tank.

Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

It's not every day that spaceship equipment joins the Los Angeles commute.

Christine Armario / AP

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.