NASA Astronauts Michael Good and Michael Foreman visited the National Museum of the Air Force during a private event to formally introduce the first shuttle Crew Compartment Trainer (CCT-1) to military and community officials and preview the next steps for the exhibit.
The event marked the debut of a new kiosk, which contains additional information about the trainer, including graphics and a mini- documentary detailing how the CCT-1 was used, its arrival at the museum and future exhibit plans.
As the event began, Foreman reflected back on the many hours he spent in NASA's three crew compartment trainers as he prepared for space missions.
"I've spent 400 - 500 hours in these trainers so it evokes all kinds of great memories," Foreman said. "These trainers were great for actually strapping in and getting ready for launch, and now people will get to see up-close where we trained for space shuttle missions."
Good, who served for 25 years in the Air Force, said he couldn't think of a better home for the trainer to inspire the next generations of scientists and engineers.
"I really love air museums and I remember coming here with my family as a kid, and it is one of the things that inspired me to study aerospace engineering and to get into this business," Good said.
Photo credit: NMUSAF/Don Popp
[i][b]Above[/b]: NASA Astronaut Michael Good discusses the capabilities of NASA's first shuttle Crew Compartment Trainer at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, on Sept.28, 2012.[/i]
Good also spoke about how valuable the CCT-1 was to the shuttle program and the reassurance it provided the astronauts.
"People sometimes ask me if I was scared sitting on top of that rocket prior to launch, and I can honestly tell you that I was not scared," said Good. "The reason I was not scared is because I was so well trained, and this mockup was a big part of that."
Future exhibit plans will start with Display Dynamics Inc. of Clayton, Ohio, which was recently selected to reproduce a full-scale mock-up of a NASA shuttle payload bay, engine and tail sections and a dedicated educational area.
These pieces of the exhibit, along with visitor observation and access structures, are scheduled to be completed by September 2013. The museum will continue to populate the exhibit with additional artifacts, such as satellites, along with items obtained from NASA, including space gear, hardware and other equipment, through early 2014.
During construction of the exhibit, visitors will be able to view the CCT-1 in the Cold War Gallery. When completed, the exhibit will allow the public to look into the cockpit and mid-deck areas of a shuttle and learn how astronauts trained for their missions.
The museum's director, retired Lt. Gen. Jack L. Hudson, concluded the event by expressing his thanks to all those in attendance and is looking forward to the exhibit's completion.
"The vision is grand here and we're on a pathway to do this," said Hudson. "This will be an enormous addition to the museum as the CCT-1's exhibit capability grows over time and will help us continue to tell the Air Force story to the American public as well as motivate, inspire and educate our youth towards the Air Force and science, technology, engineering and math."
In addition, three other CCT-1 exhibit contracts were recently awarded to add further content to the display. A contract to build five reproduction space suits representing the space shuttle and Gemini programs was awarded to David Clark Company, Inc., of Worcester, Mass., in the amount of $175,000.
A contract for science, technology, engineering and math learning node elements, including two space shuttle landing simulators and 10 touch-screen computers was awarded to Historic Space Systems of Danville, Ohio, in the amount $170,400.
Finally, a contract to develop fourteen 1/32-scale models of U.S. space launch vehicles representing an historical overview of U.S. Air Force and NASA programs, and one full-scale model of the Explorer 1 satellite was awarded to ProTek Models LLC, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., in the amount of $70,900. The space launch vehicle models will include a Jupiter C, Mercury-Redstone, Mercury-Atlas, Gemini, Titan II, Thor-Agena A, Titan IIID, Atlas-Centaur, Saturn IB, Saturn V, Delta II, Titan 4B, Atlas V, and a Delta IV Heavy, along with a space shuttle with a "full stack" of launch vehicle elements.