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  Apollo Center (Astronaut Statue), Webster, Texas

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Author Topic:   Apollo Center (Astronaut Statue), Webster, Texas
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 28750
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-04-2014 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
collectSPACE
Giant astronaut statue envisioned for new Apollo visitor center in Texas

A new Texas-size tribute to NASA's Apollo manned moon landings may give new meaning to the phrase "giant leap."

An 80-foot-tall (24-m) statue of a spacesuited astronaut is planned as the centerpiece for the Apollo Center, a newly-announced visitor attraction in Webster, Texas. Proposed as a 20,000 square-foot (1,860 sq.m) facility located just down the road from NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, the Apollo Center would serve as an education and conference center.

The "venue [will] serve not only as a tribute to the Apollo program... but also as a window into the future of space exploration, space habitation, and space technology," the non-profit behind the new center described in a brochure.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28750
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-05-2014 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A few more details (which will eventually make their way into a follow-up article):
  • The artist renderings of the astronaut statue are provisional and the final pose/appearance will be different.

  • The projected cost of the statue is $6 million, including its base, which will include a small museum inside.

  • From the point that its full funding is achieved, it will take one year for the statue to be sculpted and erected.

  • The statue will be erected first, before the Apollo Center itself.

  • Yesterday (Feb. 4) was the first public "whisper" of this project, much more news to follow in the coming months.

JSC01
Member

Posts: 62
From: Houston, Texas, USA
Registered: Nov 2011

posted 02-05-2014 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JSC01     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well this is certainly interesting! It's an exciting idea for a museum/display... that's definitely a positive. My only question is the location. Why have a separate center so far from Space Center Houston, and from the Apollo Saturn V building at JSC? I don't get the logic in that at all. I would think this would be a beautiful addition to the SCH-JSC complex. Almost anyone who would visit one museum would certainly visit the other... so why have them a mile apart? Looking at a map, I can't quite grasp the precise location. I'm guessing on the west side of I-45.

I will say though, the Sam Houston statue is a *massive* display and does look good right smack on I-45. If this one is going to be bigger... holy cow.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28750
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-05-2014 07:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by JSC01:
Why have a separate center so far from Space Center Houston, and from the Apollo Saturn V building at JSC?
This is an economic development effort by the City of Webster, designed to bring aerospace business and tourists to Webster. So from that perspective, it wouldn't make much sense for the city to establish the Apollo Center outside Webster.

Cozmosis22
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Posts: 324
From: Texas * Earth
Registered: Apr 2011

posted 02-05-2014 07:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cozmosis22     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is that big astronaut going to be waving his right hand and greeting visitors with a nice "Howdy"?

That conference center facility looks a bit like the LAX main terminal.

Here's hoping that this becomes reality!

dabolton
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Posts: 267
From: Round Lake, IL, US
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 02-06-2014 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dabolton   Click Here to Email dabolton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the NASA Road 1 highway bypass around Webster has probably hurt them economically. They need to drive traffic back to their main street.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 28750
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2014 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some additional details via the Houston Chronicle's reporting:
There is a proposal for a 50-foot pedestal under the astronaut, which would house a small museum and make the astronaut a total of 130 feet tall. Part of the proposal is an elevator to the top of the statue allowing for a 360-degree view of the area behind a glass window.

...the blueprint for the A7L spacesuit that will be depicted in the statue is coming from NASA.

"The Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston support the venture, although they won't be participating on the financial end of things," said Dr. Betsy Guisto, the director of economic development in Webster.

"I think we complement one another," said Guisto of the two space complexes. "We never want to lose that connection to them and we value that partnership."

Guisto puts the final price tag on the project at around $30 million, includes $5 million for the statue and the proposed elevator and pedestal.

Hart Sastrowardoyo
Member

Posts: 2364
From: Toms River, NJ,USA
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 02-06-2014 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wouldn't be a 360-degree view, but would be nice where the glass window would be the astronaut's visor. You could see out but wouldn't be able to see in. Could house a restaurant/conference room. If Webster, Texas sees this, feel free to send me a check...
quote:
Originally posted by Cozmosis22:
Is that big astronaut going to be waving his right hand and greeting visitors with a nice "Howdy"?
Actually, I hear some college kids or retired astronauts are going to make sure the name tag on the astronaut reads "SCHIRRA"...

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