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Author Topic:   The W Foundation's The Space Station museum
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30054
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-09-2011 11:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The W Foundation release
New Space Exploration Museum Opens in Marin County

The W Foundation (TWF) will be opening a new space exploration museum in the San Francisco Bay Area. The emphasis will be on the history of space exploration, and how discoveries in science and technology allowed the U.S. to be the leader in space travel.

The Space Station will be located in the Pacheco Plaza, a shopping center located in the upscale Ignacio neighborhood of Marin County. This unique museum will give the public a rare opportunity to touch space-flown artifacts from TWF's extensive collection of U.S., Russian and Soviet items used in space exploration.

The decision to open this new education center is based on the tremendous success of the temporary exhibit put on this July by TWF and Walter Kieckhefer Company (WKC) displayed in one of WKC's vacant retail spots. The two-day exhibit attracted over 600 visitors.

"This is a 'win, win' for The W Foundation, Walter Kieckhefer Company (WKC) and our community, because a vacant retail space is filled and the public gains a new education venue in their neighborhood," says Ken Winans, co-president of The W Foundation.

A ribbon cutting is planned for October 7th at 6 p.m. with legendary astronauts Rick Searfoss, John Herrington and Dick Gordon in attendance. During their six missions, they have collectively traveled in space 66 days, performed 23 hours of space walks and journeyed to the moon.

The museum will open to the public in November.

The W Foundation is a volunteer staffed and privately funded 501c3 non-profit corporation founded in 2002. It owns one of the largest private collections of U.S., Russian and Soviet space exploration artifacts, and it sponsors the "Navy in Space" exhibit during Fleet Week.

The organization has attracted legendary figures such as Apollo 12 Astronaut Dick Gordon, award-winning actor Bill Pullman and video game designer Will Wright to its Board of Advisors.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30054
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-14-2011 12:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The W Foundation's The Space Station opened Friday, Nov. 11 to the public.

The museum's regular hours are Saturdays and Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time zone. Private tours and school groups are available on the other days of the week.

Come and view artifacts that have made the long journey to the moon and back, and photographs inscribed by the astronauts that tell about their adventures in space exploration.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30054
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-19-2012 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Space Review's Jeff Foust recently toured The Space Station:
Tucked into a small storefront between a nail salon and a Subway, it would be easy for a shopper to miss the museum entirely, except for the lifesized model of a spacesuited astronaut standing outside the door—their way of letting the public know the museum is open.

Inside the small space is a basic set of displays of artifacts, photos, and other items. The museum has a hodgepodge of both American and Russian items, ranging from a Space Shuttle hold-down bolt and a Lunar Module engine bell to a Soviet-era cosmonaut flight suit and a hatch from the Buran shuttle. The theme of the current exhibit is “Space Stations and Space Shuttles” (exhibits are changed every several months), although to many visitors that theme may be too subtle, who instead simply see a collection of flight hardware and other items representing spaceflight.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30054
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-12-2012 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The W Foundation release
The Space Station: Launching a whole new kind of museum!

When people think of museums, they often think of the California Academy of Sciences, or the new San Francisco Exploratorium with its huge price tag of approximately $220 million dollars.

A new type of museum opened last October in the San Francisco suburb of Novato: The Space Station offers a quality experience for local residents and tourists alike without the high construction costs and government subsidies required for the on-going operations of most museums.

President and Founder of the investment management firm, Winans Investments, and philanthropist Ken Winans has served as a trustee to several large, Smithsonian affiliated museums, and felt there had to be a more efficient and effective way to offer the public a quality museum experience during this time of fiscal austerity.

With an entrepreneurial spirit, Winans contacted the owners of an upscale shopping center in Novato's Ignacio neighborhood with a unique idea:

The W Foundation, founded in 2002 by Mr. Winans and his wife Debbie Wreyford, would set up and operate a small space exploration museum using rare items from their extensive collection of space artifacts in one of the strip mall's vacant retail space for $1 per month.

The neighborhood and local schools would gain a unique, educational venue free of charge, and the Pacheco Plaza Shopping Center will get increased traffic and new customers for its existing commercial tenants. When the retail space gets rented in the future, no problem, the museum can move to a different location - a nomadic space museum!

The Walter Kieckhefer Company agreed, and after a ribbon cutting ceremony last October with legendary astronauts Rick Searfoss, John Herrington and Dick Gordon in attendance, The Space Station museum opened to the public last November.

With an emphasis on space exploration, and how its discoveries in science and technology have benefited all of mankind, this museum was designed to be truly different:

First, Admission is free and 100% privately funded through donations from local businesses such as Winans Investments Capital Management & Research and Jeremy Forcier of First Cal Mortgage, in-kind support from local businesses such as The Walter Kieckhefer Company, and individual donations. Second, in order to keep costs contained, the museum is 100% volunteer staffed and is open three days a week or by appointment. Third, exhibits are changed four times a year by the volunteer staff to help encourage visitors to frequently return. And last, but not least, the public is given a unique, tactile experience as they are allowed to touch some of the space-flown artifacts.

The Space Station museum is a tremendous success! Since its opening six months ago, the museum has averaged 642 visitors per month while only being open three days per week. Total attendance from all Space Station events in the Pacheco Plaza Shopping Center over the past ten months has exceeded 4,952 visitors. This figure equals 10% of Novato's entire population! Visitors have come from all parts of the Bay Area and as far away Las Vegas, NV. Remarkably, marketing has been limited to word-of mouth, internet blogs and social networks.

Since the opening of The Space Station, The W Foundation's volunteer base has increased from 18 to 36 with another 23 individuals who have stopped by the museum signed up to volunteer in the future. The donations have largely covered operational expenses.

The nimble Space Station museum is moving to a new location in the Pacheco Plaza Shopping Center in June and is planning an outdoor event called Space Fest on July 14th.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30054
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-11-2014 11:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The W Foundation release
Become a Museum Volunteer - A Great Way to Meet Your Neighbors!

As an all-volunteer museum, we are looking for local supporters who can give a few hours a month to help crew Novato's, "The Space Station" museum.

The museum is currently open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm, but we would like to expand the days and hours of operation.

You do not have to be a “rocket scientist” to be involved, just bring your enthusiasm!

Our volunteers range in age from 81 to 15. As a 501c3 organization, we meet the community service requirement for local schools.

For more information, please go to TheSpaceStationCA.org or email ken@winansintl.com.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 464
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 03-11-2014 12:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I volunteer about once a quarter at TSS. I'd volunteer more often, but it's a pretty good drive from where I live to where TSS is located. For space junkies it's a great place to be. I'd recommend it if you live in the SF Bay area.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30054
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-22-2014 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The W Foundation release
The Eagle has Landed in Bay Area — Novato Museum gets a Lunar Module and Moon Buggy!

In honor of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 and 12 moon landings, the Space Station Museum has acquired large-scale replicas of both the lunar module and lunar rover (also called the "moon buggy") to be used in a new interactive exhibit.

These items will be featured at the upcoming Novato Space Festival on August 2, 2014 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Apollo 12 astronaut Dick Gordon. Unique to this museum, visitors will actually be able to get up close and touch these large, detailed copies of the vehicles used during the Apollo moon landings.

"Visitors will feel like they are on the moon with Neil Armstrong! I believe that this lunar experience will become one of the Bay Area's most popular must-see attractions," says Ken Winans, Co-President of The W Foundation (The W Foundation operates the museum).

Since opening in 2011, the Space Station Museum has already become a popular regional attraction.

With its emphasis on space exploration (past and present), the public gets a unique tactile experience as they are allowed to touch space-flown artifacts. Artifacts are also rotated within the exhibit several times a year to help encourage visitors to return and see new items.

The Space Station is unique in the museum world as an efficient and effective way to offer quality, educational exhibits during this time of fiscal austerity:

  • The museum uses existing retail space provided by the Pacheco Plaza shopping center and admission is free.
  • The museum is 100% volunteer staffed and is open 4 days a week, 4 hours per day and by appointment.
  • The museum is 100% privately funded through donations and in-kind support from organizations such as: Winans Investments, Wreyford Family Foundation, Maserati Automotive, Men's Wearhouse, Starbucks' La Boulange Bakery, State Farm Insurance, etc.
The W Foundation is a privately funded 501c3 non-profit corporation founded in 2004 by Ken Winans and Debbie Wreyford. It owns one of the largest private collections of U.S., Russian, and Soviet space exploration artifacts in existence. In addition to The Space Station Museum, artifacts have been on display for many years at Chabot Space Science Center, The USS Hornet Museum, and the "Navy in Space" exhibit during San Francisco Fleet Week.

The organization has attracted legendary figures such as Apollo 12 Astronaut Dick Gordon, award winning actor Bill Pullman, and video game designer Will Wright to its Board of Advisors.

SkyMan1958
Member

Posts: 464
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 07-22-2014 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Calling all space geeks in the Bay Area, I strongly recommend that you get to Novato on August 2 for the "Space Festival". I hope to see you there.

The lunar rover is a full scale model.

The LM model is 7/10 scale. My understanding is that it was originally created for a corporate event in the Kansas City area. I helped to reassemble it on (talk about serendipity) July 16. By the end of the day roughly 80% of the model had been reassembled. Here's a pic from the end of the day. Needless to say, it still needs a fair amount more work, but you can see by the bare bones that it is a good sized model. From left to right in the photo are Dan Nielson, Ken Winans and myself.

All times are CT (US)

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