The Museum of Flight President, Doug King, was officially given the 'keys' to the space shuttle Full Fuselage Trailer during a January 19 ceremony at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. JSC Director Michael L. Coats, Mission Operations Director Paul Hill, and Seattle shuttle astronaut Greg C. Johnson were speakers at the event, with the FFT towering behind them. Following remarks, Hill and King signed the Space Act Agreement that will transfer ownership of the trainer, which was used to familiarize all astronauts with the shuttle cockpit controls and emergency exit procedures. The ceremony ended with Hill handing King the large ratchet used to open the trainer's crew hatch.
Addressing an audience of JSC space flight specialists, managers and former astronauts, King said the Museum's FFT exhibit is "going to tell the story of what all of you did to get us off of the planet... a story for Seattle and the rest of the world."
The huge artifact will be delivered to Seattle flown in the cargo bay of the famous Super Guppy aircraft which NASA has used to transport space vehicles. The FFT is so large though, it will still be needed to be shipped in segments, and require five to six flights to complete the delivery. Astronaut Johnson said at today's ceremony that he already "has dibs" to pilot some of those deliveries, including the first flight, which is scheduled for May. "When I first became an astronaut I trained in the FFT," said Johnson, "now I get to fly it to Seattle!"
Referring to the delivery flights of the trainer which has always been Earthbound, King told the audience, "the FFT finally gets to fly." The Museum's FFT exhibit will be open to the public in
Image Caption: NASA Johnson Space Center Mission Operations Director Paul Hill, hands Museum of Flight President Doug King the 'keys' to the Full Fuselage Trainer as Seattle astronaut Greg C. Johnson looks on.