According to an October 5, 2013 press release published in the Space For All Blog, the space shuttle replica to be displayed at Space Center Houston has been named “Independence.” “a name that fittingly symbolizes the spirit of Texas and its unique characteristics. The replica will eventually sit atop the massive 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) as part of a new $12 million, six-story attraction currently under development.
NASA chose not to display either of the space shuttles that actually flew at Space Center Houston, a decision that still rankles in Texas. But, as a consolation prize, NASA donated a shuttle replica used as a training article that had been dubbed “Explorer.” Space Center Houston began a naming contest for the shuttle replica that garnered over 10,000 responses.
Ironically a space shuttle called “Independence” flew in the 1998 blockbuster film “Armageddon” that starred Bruce Willis as part of an effort to destroy an asteroid “the size of Texas” before it hit the Earth.
The display, which visitors will be able to access, is scheduled to open in 2015.