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Forum:Space Places
Topic:Museum of Flight: Charles Simonyi Space Gallery
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Robert PearlmanMuseum of Flight release
Museum of Flight to Name New Space Gallery after Prominent Local Space Traveler

The Museum of Flight will hold a dedication ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011 at 11 a.m. PST, naming its brand-new, state-of-the-art Space Gallery in honor of a renowned space traveler who will be in attendance to unveil the new name.

To add to the excitement, this local man will make an additional surprise announcement of his own.

A public Space Gallery exhibit preview will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each person who brings in a non-perishable food item Saturday will receive half off museum admission, benefiting Northwest Harvest.

The Seattle Times reports that the "renowned space traveler" lending his name to the new gallery is Charles Simonyi.
Robert Pearlman
Museum of Flight layout for the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery:

isaacada1Seattle PI photo gallery of the new Museum of Flight Space Gallery.
The interior of the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery is shown on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, at Seattle's Museum of Flight. The building will house the Space Shuttle trainer formerly kept at Houston's Johnson Space Center. During a dedication ceremony on Thursday, another space artifact to be shown at the museum will be announced.
Robert PearlmanMuseum of Flight release
Museum of Flight Names New Space Gallery in Honor of Charles Simonyi

Simonyi Also Donates Soyuz

The Museum of Flight (MOF) announced today its new state-of-the-art, 15,500 sq. foot space gallery will be named the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery in honor of Charles Simonyi, two-time space traveler, architect of Microsoft Word, and founder of Intentional Software in Bellevue.

Simonyi, who gifted $3 million to the $12 million building, also announced today that he is giving MOF – on a long-term loan – the Soyuz TMA-13 rocket module that carried him back from space in 2009, on his second trip to the International Space Station.

Along with Soyuz, Simonyi will be donating a space toilet and other artifacts that were part of his well documented and much followed trips to space.

"This imposing new Charles Simonyi Space Gallery could not have become a reality without Dr. Simonyi's continued support for The Museum of Flight and his vision about what our future can hold," said Doug King, President and CEO of The Museum of Flight. "While we are grateful for his monetary contribution, we truly named the space gallery in honor of Charles to recognize his commitment to aerospace education and his tireless enthusiasm for inspiring the next generation of space explorers."

The Charles Simonyi Space Gallery will be the home of the Full-Fuselage Space Shuttle Trainer (FFT), which will be delivered in NASA's Guppy airplane in various stages, beginning in June. The FFT is the only one of its kind in the world and is the simulator in which every space shuttle astronaut trained for space flight.

In addition to the Shuttle Trainer and the Soyuz module, there will be other rare space artifacts, both permanent and on tour – all part this premier Space Gallery, to engage the next generation of scientists and engineers through hands-on learning.

"The naming of the space gallery is a great honor for me and for my family," said Simonyi. "I have the highest regard for the Museum of Flight and now that we are at the threshold of a great expansion of civilian spaceflight, I fully support the Museum's efforts to engage the public on the issue of space exploration with a focus on civilian space: past, present and future."

"We are so honored by Charles' generosity," said MOF Chairman of the Board Michael Hallman, himself a major donor. "His level of monetary and intellectual commitment will help to propel this Museum into an exciting future of continued leadership in educating and inspiring legions of young people to pursue and live their dreams."

isaacada1Geekwire has video from the Museum of Flight unveiling today.

Robert PearlmancollectSPACE
Space tourists loan Soyuz spacecraft to join shuttle exhibits on both coasts

A self-funded space traveler loaned his Russian spacecraft to a museum Thursday (Dec. 8), where it will be exhibited near a full-size mockup of a U.S. space shuttle.

The donation was anything but a common occurrence, but it happened to be the second time in less than a month...

isaacada1The West Seattle Herald has a slide show of photos from the announcement.
Robert PearlmanMuseum of Flight release
Museum of Flight Welcomes Charles Simonyi's Soyuz TMA-14 Spacecraft

Module to be on display next to NASA's Full Fuselage Trainer following its arrival

Today, The Museum of Flight in Seattle welcomed an exciting new space artifact, as Charles Simonyi and representatives from the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, delivered the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft. This historic craft will be on permanent loan to the museum from Simonyi and immediately on display in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery.

"Today's exciting arrival of the Soyuz TMA-14 is a tremendous step toward the completion of the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, which is now open to the public," said Museum of Flight President and CEO Doug King. "Having the Soyuz TMA-14 as well as NASA's Full Fuselage Trainer on display later this year, makes the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery one of the premier aerospace exhibits in the world."

Simonyi, a high-tech pioneer and philanthropist as well as renowned space traveler, trained in the Soyuz TMA-14 during his preparatory time at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. He then traveled to the International Space Station on board Soyuz TMA-14, on March 26, 2009. The module stayed at the International Space Station (ISS) for the duration of Expedition 20, the 20th long-duration flight to the ISS and the first time a six-member crew inhabited the station. Simonyi returned to Earth in the Soyuz TMA-13 on April 8, 2009 and the TMA-14 remained at the ISS until Oct. 11, 2009 when it safely returned home.

"It is my pleasure to share the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft with The Museum of Flight and the thousands of people who will visit the Space Gallery each year," said Simonyi. "I am grateful to have had the privilege to travel into space aboard this capsule and hope that the exhibit will inspire the next generation of space explorers."

The 15,500-sq.-ft. Charles Simonyi Space Gallery will be home to the Soyuz TMA-14 and NASA's Full Fuselage Trainer as well as other various rare space artifacts and interactive exhibits showcasing space travel from the earliest days of the space shuttle program to the future of commercial space. The Full Fuselage Trainer, in which every space shuttle astronaut has trained, will arrive at Boeing Field aboard the NASA Super Guppy aircraft. Due to the trainer's size, it will be delivered in several different stages beginning in May.

Robert Pearlman@MuseumofFlight:
Charles Simonyi and Museum Senior Curator Dan Hagedorn with Soyuz capsule.
tegwilymI think it's on display in the new hall already. I'm heading over there this weekend for a model show, so I'll cross the street and see if it's there. I'll share some photos!
p51I was there for a short time yesterday on my way home from another event. The only thing in that building is the capsule shown above, someone else's Russian re-entry suit, an interesting (but highly inaccurate) 1/16 scale model of the Columbia and a small souvenir stand. One of the museum staff said they really didn't expect the trainer to be inside the building until this fall at the earliest.

Taking a good look at the building I was baffled as to how a complete orbiter even could have fit in the building had the museum been awarded one after all. It's big enough, no question, but I only saw a single 'roll-up' door in the back that maybe would have taken the width of the fuselage of an orbiter. The sides and front of the building are solid but the back opening only looked big enough for the components of the trainer to be slid in one at a time at best. I can only assume they closed up the back after realizing they weren't going to get a complete orbiter.

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