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[b]Museum of Flight Awarded Full-Fuselage Shuttle Trainer[/b]
The Museum of Flight announced today it will house a full-fuselage space shuttle trainer in its new state-of-the-art, 15,500-square-foot Space Gallery. The space shuttle trainer is the only one of its kind in the world and is the simulator in which every space shuttle astronaut trained for space flight.
The Space Gallery had the potential to house a retired United States space shuttle, but today NASA announced the space shuttles will be given to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the California Science Center in Los Angeles, the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
"While we are happy for the cities which have been awarded one the retiring space shuttles, we are thrilled to receive the full-fuselage shuttle trainer," said Doug King, Museum of Flight president and CEO. "Not only is it a unique and exciting educational artifact to have as a centerpiece of our Space Gallery, but, unlike the actual shuttles, we will be able to allow the public to walk inside it and actually see where the shuttle astronauts trained."
The gallery will also house numerous other rare space artifacts that will be part of a one-of-a-kind exhibit about space and engaging the next generation of space explorers through hands-on learning.
The Space Gallery is being built on the west side of East Marginal Way, connected to the main building by the T. Evans Wyckoff Memorial Bridge. Soon after the completion of the Space Gallery, construction will begin on a new building for Aviation High School on the Museum campus.
"The new Space Gallery and Aviation High School building will be invaluable and significant additions to The Museum of Flight and will continue to grow our reputation as one of the premier air and space education institutions in the nation," said Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar, retired astronaut and Wings Over Washington executive director. "The new Space Gallery and Aviation High School building will serve as a beacon to both youth and young adults, and help add to the more than 140,000 individuals that are already served annually by the Museum's on-site and outreach educational programs."
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