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Continued: Giant magnet resembling flying saucer attracts rock-star status on 3,200-mile trip to Illinois

  • Article by: JASON KEYSER , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 26, 2013 - 10:10 PM

Thankfully, no damage was done along the way.

"The whole thing went as smoothly as we could have wanted it to," Salles said.

The magnet had its own Twitter hashtag (#bigmove) so fans could keep up. And a specially built website with GPS to track the magnet became Fermilab's most popular page.

As word spread, thousands of people came out to watch it inch along. Some sat in lawn chairs. Others came to chat with the scientists. Television news helicopters swirled overhead.

With a police escort, it finally rolled into the suburban Chicago lab shortly after 4 a.m. Friday with an "oversize load" sign and a waving American flag.

During Friday evening's celebration, Fermilab planned a community open house and magnetic experiments and lessons for children.

The building where the magnet will ultimately be used is still under construction, so the magnet should be operational sometime in 2014.

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