Replica shuttle "Inspiration" getting refurb, new mission

By Greg Pallone, Brevard County Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, January 15, 2016, 5:39 PM EST

A Space Coast landmark is launching on a mission.

Millions of people have driven by the replica Space Shuttle 'Inspiration' in front of the former US Astronaut Hall of Fame in Titusville.

The landmark never flew, nor was it built for flight.

The full scale model, often called the “Shuttle of Tomorrow,” was put up back in 1992.

Inside it was a simulator where patrons could pretend they were astronauts.

LVX System now has bigger dreams for Inspiration.

"We are NASA nuts, we are excited about this project," said David Sexton.

Sexton is president of LVX System, who recently signed a NASA contract to develop the company's emerging technology involving the streaming of high speed data through LED lights.

But now Inspiration will be refurbished and sent on a new “mission.”

"It's going to continue on as it has in the past, inspiration and education," Sexton said.

Instead of sitting still, this 120-foot-long craft will be on the move -- taking a cross country river barge trip to spread the message of NASA and space travel to the masses.

So far LVX has spent around half a million dollars repairing it and firming it up for such a trip.

By the time all the work wraps up, the company could spend $5 million on the project, which is projected to last a year.

Crews are working to prep it for its big move to a Merritt Island refurbishment area but before that, a large crane will load it onto a barge.

Weather permitting, Inspiration will start moving to the barge on the Indian River around 7 a.m. Saturday. The entire trip to the refurbishment facility on Merritt Island is expected to take about 12 hours.


The barge and crane that will transport Inspiration to a refurbishment area in Merritt Island. If the weather is good, Inspiration will be moved Saturday morning. (Julian Leek, Viewer)