Rise of Independence Shuttle Replica Lift

Versabar provided lift engineering and the rigging used to lift the full-size space shuttle replica Independence and set it atop NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, in the creation of Space Center Houston's future world-class aviation exhibit. The massive museum display replicates NASA's piggyback configuration and provides visitors with the unique experience of touring both the aircraft and the orbiter. Named "The Rise of Independence," the lift event was open to the public and included an opening ceremony before the shuttle's ascension. Versabar weighed the shuttle months prior in order to determine its weight and center of gravity in order to engineer a level lift. Versabar engineers designed the 2-bar lift using counterweight to align the CoG of the rigging to that of the shuttle. The shuttle replica was gently lowered onto the same attach points that the real space shuttles used to mount onto the aircraft, but the mockup was modified to sit at a more level angle in order for exhibit visitors to safely walk inside.


Click here to view a video of the lift.

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