That's all despite the fact the shuttle is currently only a mere 5 miles away, having landed for the last time in October 2012 at Houston's Ellington Field. The plane is simply too large, and the city roads separating the airport and center too small, to make the drive over intact.
Don't plan your trip to check it out just yet. The 747 isn't due to go on display until 2015 because, aside from the time needed to puzzle-piece it back together, the Center has plans to mount it with a full-scale mock Space Shuttle already in their possession.
When all is said and done, however, Houston will end up presenting the most unique and interactive Space Shuttle exhibit, seeing as how plans include for elevators to lift visitors inside both the 747 and the faux Shuttle. That sure beats the sparse experience of the Enterprise in New York, where visitors simply look up at it in awe.
[Photo: NASA HQ]