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  Heroes and Legends ft. Astronaut Hall of Fame

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Author Topic:   Heroes and Legends ft. Astronaut Hall of Fame
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 32497
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-30-2015 01:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
'Heroes and Legends' NASA attraction to feature Astronaut Hall of Fame

A quarter century after its start, the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame is set to be re-launched as a high-tech interactive public attraction intended to inspire a new generation of explorers.

NASA officials, exhibit designers and more than 25 Hall of Fame astronauts gathered at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida on Friday (May 29) to announce "Heroes and Legends," a new gallery that will incorporate and feature the hall when it opens in 2016.

"Twenty five years ago, in 1990, just six miles west of the gates of the Kennedy Space Center, the doors [to the Hall of Fame] were opened," Therrin Protze, the chief operating officer of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, said prior to a ceremonial groundbreaking for the attraction. "It seems only appropriate we celebrate the 25th anniversary [by] celebrating the ideals, bravery, fortitude, courage and commitment that it represents."


Posts: 1873
From: Atlanta, GA, USA
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 05-30-2015 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for garymilgrom   Click Here to Email garymilgrom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the entire Astronaut Hall of Fame (AHOF) moving to this area beside the Rocket Garden? How do the footprints compare - my memory says the new area is smaller. And what is planned for the current AHOF site/building including the Shuttle mockup in front of the building? Thanks.


Posts: 38
From: Maryland
Registered: Jan 2014

posted 05-30-2015 09:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for pupnik     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I knew the plan was eventually move the AHOF down to the main visitor complex eventually.

Early Space Exploration and the AHOF were the two good artifact displays though and it doesn't seem like Early Space has all that much room to expand. I hope they can find some way to continue displaying all these great items with the change.

Any word what will happen to the Space Shuttle Inspiration mockup out front of the AHOF?

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 32497
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-30-2015 10:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Astronaut Hall of Fame will be part of Heroes and Legends going forward. The current building will close sometime later this year or next.

That said, it was noted that some (maybe even most) but not all of the artifacts from the current hall will be incorporated in the new attraction. They are still working on floor plans for the Hall of Fame rotunda as part of Heroes and Legends.

The Early Space Exploration building will be expanded to encompass the new attraction. The Debus Conference Center will remain, though its entrance will move (it will have its own new dedicated lobby).

I am told there is a plan for the shuttle mockup out front of the current Hall of Fame, but that they are not ready to share what it is.


Posts: 1482
From: Gardner, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2003

posted 06-03-2015 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MrSpace86   Click Here to Email MrSpace86     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That shuttle mockup wouldn't make much sense since a real orbiter would be just a few hundred feet away.

I am glad they are moving the Astronaut Hall of Fame. We went there last September and we were the only ones in there for two hours! It's a shame because I really enjoyed how the artifacts were displayed and more people needed to go visit. Alas, I am sure it will look even better in this new plan. Can't wait!


Posts: 13
Registered: Apr 2012

posted 06-09-2015 06:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mgspacecadet   Click Here to Email mgspacecadet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Regarding the shuttle mockup Inspiration in front of the current Astronaut Hall of Fame, several full scale mockups were built around 1990 by a company in Australia owned by Paul Dewhurst. The following is from the Oct. 23, 2012, Australia Newcastle Herald:
Mr. Dewhurst, who said the first shuttle did end up in Japan, while the second is in the U.S. A third shuttle was shipped to Madrid for the World Fair.
The third shuttle actually went to the Seville Expo 1992 in Spain.

For more detail about the Astronaut Hall of Fame mockup, from some firsthand information, the following is from the President of Guard-Lee, Inc., Aerospace Replicas and Restorations, out of central Florida.

The shuttle mockup was bought either second or third hand by then facility owners US Space Camp in 1990-1991 timeframe. I believe it to have been built by Paul Dewhurst of Australia. I was employed at that time by Guard-Lee, and I got involved when Space Camp asked Guard-Lee to take on the task of assembling the model once it arrived.

This shuttle was originally made as an indoor model, and that fact rather plagued it over the years. While it is fiberglass on the outside, wood and plywood was used to support much of the skins, and the wood suffered from rot and degradation. Several refurbishment exercises were done, not always by Guard-Lee. The model has had some chronic problems: It has suffered from not being completely sealed, so water intrusions have been an issue.

The mainframe is steel, and although it has been painted, corrosion remains an issue in the coastal environment it is in. The model was bolted together originally but many of these bolt joints were welded together back in 1991 for safety.

The model is not free-standing on its gear, as was the model Explorer we made for KSCVC. The model is supported by three steel landing gear and a series of steel posts. Concrete piers had been poured to give base for these supports.

The good news is that the flight deck and middeck interiors could be removed with relative ease and potentially used elsewhere. There may be value for someone in the fiberglass SSME engine cones and some of the other fiberglass shapes such as the nose.

Joel Katzowitz

Posts: 548
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 06-09-2015 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is sort of bitter sweet for me. I designed the exhibits for the original incarnation of the AHOF back in 1989. I worked with Ed Buckbee (Space and Rocket Center) and Alan Shepard (Mercury Seven Foundation) on the design concepts.

I was not much of a space enthusiast when I started the project. But after doing extensive research on the program, meeting with the Mercury astronauts, and some of the support people responsible for the program's success, I was hooked. Their dedication and commitment continues to inspire me.

All times are CT (US)

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