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Author Topic:   Columbia Memorial Space Center, Downey, Calif.
Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-01-2007 02:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tower General Contractors release
Columbia Space Shuttle Tragedy Memorialized

On this day, the 4th anniversary of the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy, Tower General Contractors has announced that it has been awarded the contract to build the Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center in Downey, California. In October, 2004, both Houses of Congress passed a resolution (Public Law No: 108-391) authored by US Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard and co-sponsored by the entire contingent of California Representatives to Congress, naming Downey, California the home of the Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center.

The Center will honor the memory of the Columbia Space Shuttle Crew, American heroes, who died in service to their country. The Center is also intended to serve as a tribute to the many people who have worked in the aviation and aerospace industry in Downey over seven decades. The leaders of the Center have a major educational goal: to enhance space science knowledge and scientific literacy. The Center is expected to be completed in early 2008.

On February 1, 2003, the Columbia shuttle made an uncontrolled reentry to the earth's atmosphere and the seven crew members lost their lives, including: Rick D. Husband, Commander; William C. McCool, Pilot; Michael P. Anderson, Payload Commander; David M. Brown, Mission Specialist 1; Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist 2; Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Mission Specialist 4; and Ilan Ramon, Payload Specialist.

"We are pleased to have been selected to construct this distinguished building, which memorializes those who gave their lives for the exploration of space. The Center will educate future generations about science and aerospace making it a living tribute to their memory, while educating the next generation of astronauts," said Alex Guerrero, Executive Vice President of Tower General Contractors.

The 18,000 square feet facility will include active learning experiences that will educate students on various aspects of aerospace, including:

  • The Challenger Learning Center will feature a simulated space mission that will test the participant's decision-making skills.

  • The Center will include a Space Science Discovery Zone where visitors will find a variety of interactive exhibits that help them explore principles of flight, living in space, the search for life beyond earth, and the origins of the universe.

  • The Mars Robotics Lab will allow young visitors the opportunity to design and program their own robots in order to complete a remote exploration mission to the planet Mars.

  • Historical displays will tell the story of the men and women who contributed to the spirit of invention and innovation that led to the development of the aviation and aerospace industry in Downey, Southern California, and propelled the United States to a leadership role in space exploration.
Architectural Features

The design firms of Arquitectonica, which is responsible for the architecture and interior design, and Arquitectonica GEO, the landscape designer, will continue to oversee the project during construction.

The Building takes advantage of the visibility of its site by making a bold architectural statement, while marking the entrance to the future park. A prominent plaza in front of the building will serve as a gathering place and an outdoor room. It is designed to create a dynamic environment encouraging discovery and participation.

The architecture for the Center reflected the aspiration and the ambitions of the astronauts and mankind traveling to space. It's a dynamic form propelling itself forward and upward, expressive of the confident optimism that drove a century of aviation and space exploration achievement.

The identity of the Center is first apparent as the visitor approaches from afar -- the silvery skin reflecting the sunlight, the shape and profile distinctive and purposeful. Moving toward the entrance through the plaza, the building's metal-clad mass rises dramatically, opening the space underneath and inviting the visitor in. Much like the approach to a large aircraft, one is inspired by the expressive power of form and the latent energy contained within. Everything evokes the experience of moving through space, encouraging the sense of lightness and freedom so identifiable as intrinsic to the experience of flight. Once inside the double-height lobby, the visitor is drawn into the Space Science Discovery Zone -- the space is at once bold and dramatic with a large open stair connecting the two floors while also encouraging exploration and discovery deeper within. The circulation path is designed to carry visitors throughout the Discovery Zone, providing every opportunity possible to interact with the exhibits.

"In 1999, when the Downey NASA Plant closed, the City of Downey began a redevelopment effort, including an educational component. The construction of the Columbia Memorial Space Science & Learning Center is the culmination of our efforts to preserve Downey's 70-year legacy of aviation and aerospace history through space science education programs," said Rick Trejo, City of Downey Mayor. "The memorial will provide a way to extract something positive from the Columbia disaster," he added.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-30-2007 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Columbia Science Center to Break Ground April 12, 2007

What:

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Columbia Memorial Space Science and Learning Center, Downey, California

A groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Columbia Memorial Space Science & Learning Center and the new Downey park on a 13-acre site.

The Columbia Memorial Space Science & Learning Center is being built to honor the Columbia Space Shuttle Crew who gave their lives on February 1, 2003 in service to their country.

When: April 12, 2007; 4:30 PM PDT

Where: 12400 Clark Avenue, Downey, CA 90241

Who:

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard - California's 34th District, who was responsible for the passage of a measure to name and fund the Space Science Learning Center in Downey

Jonathan B. Clark M.D., M.P.H. - husband to Laurel Blair Salton Clark, M.D., NASA astronaut who died on the Space Shuttle Columbia. Dr. Clark is President of the Space Medicine Association. He is board certified in Neurology and Aerospace Medicine and is a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association. He is also the Space Medicine Liaison, National Space Biomedical Research Institute at Baylor College of Medicine.

Rick Trejo - Mayor of the City of Downey

Nato Flores - President, Tower General Contractors, the construction company building the Center

Alex Guerrero - EVP, Tower General Contractors

Why:

The Center is also intended to serve as a tribute to the many people who have worked in the aviation and aerospace industry in Downey over seven decades. The leaders of the Center have a major educational goal: to enhance space science knowledge and scientific literacy. The Center is slated for completion on February 1, 2008, the fifth anniversary of the tragedy.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 03-31-2007 03:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Many of the Aerospace Legacy Foundation will also be in attendance and will be happy to share our work with the city of Downey at this long awaited event. I hope that many collectSPACE readers will come down and say hello.

We of the community are proud that the city leaders have chosen to build this center for the educators, teachers and children of our area.

This site will not only honor the memory and legacy of Space Shuttle Columbia but will stand in tribute to all those who have worked here before, and for those who will again take us back to the Moon, Mars and beyond.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 04-17-2007 01:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The groundbreaking went very well. Aerospace Legacy Foundation President Gerald Blackburn led a tour around the aerospace plant turned studio for some VIP's including Dr. Clark beforehand. Many were surprised by the work of preservation done by the foundation.

The ceremony was suddenly moved indoors as wind gusts reached over 30 mph.

My exhibit area for the large room was quickly condensed into a small office! I would say that there were over 200 people that came down for the day. Many were former Rockwell employees. Some folks came from as far away as Vandenberg AFB.

Saturday marked a meeting of retirees from North American- Rockwell called the "Bald Eagles". They were briefed on the ceremony. During the meeting a non-employee showed up quietly for the free meal, Capt. Wally Schirra! Proving he was no turtle, I guess he forgave the Downey bunch for the Block I seats in the Block II spacecraft!

E2M Lem Man
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posted 04-17-2007 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pictures from the groundbreaking event, courtesy Larry Evans of Orange County Space Society:

E2M Lem Man
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posted 04-17-2007 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

blue_eyes
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posted 04-17-2007 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blue_eyes   Click Here to Email blue_eyes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I really really wished I could have been at the groundbreaking, but there was no way possible. However, because of the reporting and photos, I got to "be there" more than I expected!

This center is going to be awesome. Hail Columbia.

FFrench
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posted 04-18-2007 03:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can see in your photos that Pam Leestma was there too, Jim. Looks like a great day, wish I could have been there!

E2M Lem Man
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posted 04-24-2007 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Francis - I wish you could have been there and a whole lot of cS'rs too!

Pam Leestma, the cousin of shuttle astronaut Dave Leestma, is a teacher in the Los Angeles area who is a space-a-holic like most of us. She could qualify as a teacher in space candidate as she has gone about Mach 1 in a Russian MiG-21 jet fighter!

She wants all of us to get the chance to go into space, too!

E2M Lem Man
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posted 11-18-2008 04:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Friday, November 7, at around lunch time an explosion of some propane tanks occurred at Downey Studios less than 50 feet from the two Apollo boilerplate capsules awaiting restoration for the Columbia Memorial Space Science and Learning Center. There was no damage outside of a lot of water in and around the capsules.


Credit: Aerospace Legacy Foundation

To quote the director, Jon Betthauser in his email:

There appears to be no damage to either of the capsules from the fire. There is about 2 inches of water inside BP-19. BP-12 appears to be completely dry inside. The 8 sprinkler heads that were tripped by the fire above BP-19 have already been replaced, and a crew worked over the weekend to cover the charred and damaged side of Building 290.
These are links to articles about the incident: This occured eight days before the gala dedication ceremony that happened last Saturday, November 15th. It was decided that there would be no tours of the capsule area.

The dedication was conducted by the city of Downey inside the new building. A couple hundred invited people heard the various city officials including Mayor Dave Gafin and Mayor Pro-tem Mario Guerra, the Hon. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and Assemblyman Hector De La Torre amongst others.

Representing the Columbia families was Doug Brown, brother of Columbia astronaut David Brown. He spoke of his brother's love of education and what it takes to become an astronaut in a very moving speech, that brought tears to audience members.

A commemorative plaque for the center was unveiled at the end of the festivities, as well as a space-suited figure wandered about for photos with city council members and everyone.

The Aerospace Legacy Foundation had a modest display in the second floor educational resources room, that included models of the rockets and spacecraft that were built in Downey over the last 50 years.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 11-22-2008 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Photos from the dedication ceremony, courtesy the Columbia Memorial Space Center.

For more photos and to view larger versions of the above images, see this album.

AFGAS
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posted 11-24-2008 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I missed this a couple days ago - did not hear about the fire. I'm glad the opening when as planned - it looks great!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-24-2008 09:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Space Review: The unforgettable fire
Some of the old factory spaces are currently the location of the Aerospace Legacy Foundation, or ALF, dedicated to preserving the story of Downey’s aerospace heritage. The ALF is currently involved in trying to preserve two Apollo boilerplate capsules, one of which is owned by the City of Downey and the other owned by the Smithsonian. But sometimes preservation can be dramatic, and a couple of weeks ago Downey’s aerospace past and film studio present intersected with a little bit of unexpected drama.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 12-10-2008 12:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hold the phone.... The Columbia Center is not open yet, and it's planned January opening has just been pushed back to Spring of 2009, I am sorry to report.

But that said.. it is now hoped that the Columbia families and her former crew members and perhaps the leader of California government will be able to attend its opening.

FFrench
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posted 02-26-2009 01:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wanted to thank Jim Busby on behalf of Colin and myself for the great tour of the Downey facilities the other day. It was the first time I had been in the enormous "clean room" area when the new end door was open, so the first time I could explore it in anything other than pitch blackness.

It was also my first visit there since the fire, which buckled the metal on the end wall.

I enjoyed the stories of the spacecraft once made in these enormous spaces and, more recently, the blockbuster movies made in them. Great to see two Apollo boilerplates side by side on the property again too. Congratulations on the great work the ALF are doing there, and I look forward to a future visit!

E2M Lem Man
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posted 03-13-2009 07:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Aerospace Legacy Foundation release
The Aerospace Legacy Foundation Congratulates the Columbia Memorial Space Center on Obtaining Additional Funding!

The Aerospace Legacy Foundation of Downey, California congratulates the Columbia Memorial Space Center on obtaining $700,000 in new funding, according to the press release from Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard dated March 11,2009.

The federal funding is part of President Obama's stimulus package, called Omnibus Appropriations measure (HR-1105).

This new funding allows the Space Science Learning Center to obtain new technologies and personnel for educating both young and old in the sciences surrounding us and in space.

"This is a wonderful development," ALF President Gerald Blackburn stated continuing, "This allows the center to look ahead before it's doors open, and invest in the construction of a new building to house the shuttle orbiter the city possesses".

When the Boeing plant closed in 1999, NASA left behind the first space shuttle orbiter mockup built by Rockwell, Int. in 1974. Over the years it had been updated and was toured by many thousands of people that included presidents and queens who visited Downey over the years.

"The shuttle orbiter needs to be housed and restored soon as the shuttle era is ending," stated historian James Busby, saying "to thousands in California it was their first real introduction to a spacecraft. I can think of over a dozen governors and senators who met the shuttle in Downey - including current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Senator (later shuttle astronaut) John Glenn.

The new center - located at the historic site where the Apollo moon ships and space shuttle orbiters were built - is scheduled to open later this year.

About the Aerospace Legacy Foundation

For the last 75 years in Southern California, the aviation and aerospace companies were the life blood of the California economy and our nations driving force of breakthroughs in technology and science.

The legacy of their vision, hard work, and accomplishment is one worth honoring and preserving. The Aerospace Legacy Foundation exists to honor this incredible history.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 03-15-2009 08:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Aerospace Legacy Foundation has issued the following correction:
The Aerospace Legacy Foundation is pleased to hear of the funding for the Columbia Memorial Space Center we look foward to the technology exhibits this will provide to enhance public education on the contributions of the aerospace industry. The quote attributed to me in Mr. Busby's release is incorrect. This funding is not intended to be utilized in any way for new building construction. These funds are very specific in their use which is, "$700,000 for the Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center in Downey to create interactive educational exhibits to enhance the understanding of space-related sciences and to highlight the value of technologies developed through the space program, while inspiring and educating the next generation of scientists and engineers."

While we support a future facility to house the Cities Space Shuttle Orbiter mock-up this is not the funding source for that effort.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 10-10-2009 08:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
After a long uphill period of work, the city of Downey, CA announces that the Columbia Memorial Space Science Learning Center -- from now on to be known as Columbia Space Center -- will be finally opened on October 24-25, 2009 after official ceremonies on October 23rd.

Downey has been diligently finishing the Challenger Learning Center, where students can fly simulated space missions, and working on exhibits that will tell the 80 year history of the site that was the home of many small aviation companies like Kinner and EMSCO before Vultee, Convair, North American Aviation, Rockwell Int., and Boeing worked there on aircraft like the BT-9s, BT-13s and T-28 trainers, AJ-1 Savage, Navion, XF-92, XP-54 and XP-81. Missiles like the MX-774, X-10, Navajo, NATIV, Mercury-Little Joe, Hound Dog, and Gemini-paraglider.

It is where the Apollo Command and Service Modules and Space Shuttle cockpits and tail were designed and built, and the Saturn V (S-II) stages were designed.

As the city expects great attendance to these festivities, they ask that you contact Downey City Hall and Ms. Judy Ceniceros for tickets.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 10-16-2009 12:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is full speed ahead for the ceremonies one week from today.

Among the planned activities are lectures about Downey's aerospace past, the X-15 and early satellites in Lab 2 by members of the Aerospace Legacy Foundation.

Copies of Jerry Blackburn's book can be purchased and he will inscribe and autograph at the event.

Aerospace Legacy Foundation offices and collections will also be available for inspection, as time allows!

E2M Lem Man
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posted 10-23-2009 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Today is the day, Oct. 23, 2009.

The center's hours will be (for now) Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thanks to everyone for the support!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-23-2009 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Long Beach Press-Telegram has a photo gallery of the center.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 10-26-2009 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I want to say "thanks" to the many folks who came by Lab 2 and said hello. Many said to me that they were a bit "underwhelmed" by what they saw inside the Columbia Center, but that is to be expected at any new opening.

The Apollo boilerplates are not available yet, and many exhibits are being tested for the first time. It is a work in progress.

At the opening former North American and NASA deputy administrator Dale D. Myers and his lovely wife attended the opening activities, and the Mayor was quite thankful for what those of us at Aerospace Legacy Foundation had contributed, and most of his speech came from our contributions.

I believe that center director Jon Betthauser did the best job he could do under the circumstances, and with what he had available to him.

But there is so much more that can and will be done in the future - the Apollo spacecraft, the shuttle mockup building, etc.

There is so much more space to grow- and it will. Don't come here expecting everything done- help contribute to it's future, and ours. As I said... it is a work-in-progress.

I hope you will come visit us at Aerospace Legacy Foundation if you are coming to the Columbia Center, on the new Columbia Way.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 12-14-2009 10:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last week we completed the first round of training for the Challenger Center flight directors on the lunar mission with Tami Lucero from the Chabot Center.

The following day we had the honors class from Downey High School take the first mission in the Challenger Center. I was the lead Flight Director on that first "Flight."

Then center director Jon Bethauser informed me the Columbia Memorial Space Center has chosen it's first honoree for the "Story Tellers showcase."

They have decided to honor the life and accomplishments of... James M. Busby, me! I feel that there are many others who deserve this before me as I only wished I had worked on Apollo and Shuttle, and volunteered to assist in public education at the site.

I am humbled at this high honor. It will be up by the Grand Opening on Jan. 27, 2010.

AFGAS
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posted 12-18-2009 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AFGAS   Click Here to Email AFGAS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Way to go, Jim!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-18-2009 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Indeed, congratulations Jim! A well-deserved honor!

KSCartist
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posted 12-18-2009 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim enjoy the fact that your contributions are being recognized. A well deserved honor, congratulations.

Please share photos of the event in January.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 12-22-2009 01:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the wonderful words! I really am honored, and a little shy about this. I guess you will get to see some of my happiest moments of my life told with my artifacts in the months ahead!

E2M Lem Man
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posted 07-14-2010 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last month saw the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, Calif. have the assistant city manager assume the leadership helm. Mr. Scott K. Pomrehn is the acting director, as the city really wants to improve and promote the center at a higher rate of speed. He has asked the community and the Aerospace Legacy Foundation for additional assistance.
For one thing, said Pomrehn, the center is only "95 percent complete." For another, with an immediate operational budget of about $50,000 to worry about, funding goals were not being met. "We cannot hope to break even if we just depend on people walking through the door," he said.

The space center cost $10 million to build, plus many millions more spent on the exhibits.

To energize the center, Pomrehn wants to a) revitalize the Foundation, whose major functions will include fundraising, strategic (and even tactical) advice on target audiences and programming, and develop a multi-tier membership structure that will see lifetime members, various degrees of sponsorships, etc., together with the appropriate by-laws; and 2) make sure that all the fifth graders in the area get to visit the center and experience its eye-popping science-and-space-oriented exhibits and programs.

Pomrehn announced the center will have a grand opening on August 30. Also...
A $700,000 federal grant to "expand and enhance the use of state-of-the-art multimedia technology" at the Columbia Memorial Space Center will be spent over several phases, according to documents provided to the City Council.

The first phase calls for the construction of a nine-screen media wall on the space center's first floor, next to the elevator. The theater on the second floor, known as "Lab 2," will also be reconfigured and upgraded, assistant deputy city manager Scott Pomrehn wrote in a staff report.

The two Apollo boilerplates will be available for viewing on August 30th, before they are to be restored.

FFrench
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posted 08-31-2010 06:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The City of Downey kindly invited me to a very impressive opening of their brand new Challenger Learning Center at the Columbia Memorial Space Center. The impressive facility is right next door to the building where Apollo spacecraft and space shuttles were built.

June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee, gave a very moving speech dedicating the center.

It seemed that every government dignitary from a wide geographical area was in attendance as June cut the ribbon officially opening the center.

FFrench
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posted 08-31-2010 06:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Downey still makes Apollo spacecraft - at one time they were made out of metal, but now they are made out of cake.

It was a moving event and good opportunity to see friends such as Jim Busby and Pam Leestma, plus many others from the space community. It is great to see Downey continuing their long aerospace tradition through impressive education programs at this wonderful center.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 09-01-2010 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was wonderful to finally get the Center up and operational. We didn't have time to sit on our laurels though

We were asked to be the on-site reps for Columbia's Challenger Center at the AIAA conference. I was honored to meet Scott P. and Bill Readdy, who told us about staying nearby at the old "Vampire Inn" (Empire Inn), across the street from the plant.

I was surprised at the many cS'rs that came and said "Hello"; Cherie Bucheim and Mary Thompson, Leonard David and Barbara and David Livingston. It was quite a day.

The Columbia Center also has new Chris Butler artwork and timeline. (Chris worked in Downey before the art world called). Nearby Kaiser Hospital has an Apollo exhibit in Nuclear Medicene, on loan with autographed photos of all the Apollo crews, Mercury astronauts, and Flight Directors and Luminaries (like von Braun, etc.).

Almost makes you want to get ill, doesn't it?

E2M Lem Man
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posted 02-17-2012 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A lot has been happening in Downey, CA recently.

First, our hours have changed — we are now open on Sundays also.

Second, Apollo BP-12, the first Apollo craft to fly is on display in front of the center. It is resplendent having been repainted. We are adding correct markings and an escape tower shortly.

BP-19, on loan to us from the Smithsonian, is being touched up by the Kansas Cosmosphere, and will return soon.

The Columbia Memorial Space Center has partnered with the Smithsonian SITES program and we now have our first traveling exhibit "Suited for Space" on loan from them. It will be here thru April 22. For more visit our website.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 03-30-2012 02:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
On Monday March 26, the Columbia Memorial Space Center served as host to the widows of astronauts Ilan Ramon and Willie McCool of Columbia mission STS-107.

Mrs. Ramon was in Southern California touring a school named in her husband's honor and both women were making their first trip to the center. Mrs. Ramon was greeted by local elementary school children who planted trees in the astronauts honor.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-17-2014 01:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Columbia Memorial Space Center, on a site tied to the Apollo and space shuttle programs, is a big drain on city funds, but the city wants to wean it off public support, the Los Angeles Times reports.
... as memories of the Apollo and shuttle programs fade, the space center is struggling to attract visitors and donors. Now, city officials are looking for new ways to fund the struggling institution. Its deficit of more than $500,000 — an improvement over past years — is coming out of city funds.

"Our city government is not in the business of running museums," said Fernando Vasquez, mayor of the city in southeast Los Angeles County. The City Council has "been committed to supporting this museum, but at some point, we need to see a plan that's sustainable."

...city officials have started the search for a full-time executive director. The center has had an executive director for only eight months of its five-year history, and that was in the beginning. The rest of the time it's been run by a series of city employees who were only devoted to the museum part time.

Officials say an experienced executive director would know how to raise money, bring in popular exhibits and find creative ways to generate revenue, which the museum desperately needs.

All times are CT (US)

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