Museum celebrates space shuttle trainer decision

April 16, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. April 16, 2011

The Museum of Flight is offering free admission Saturday as a thank you to community members for supporting the museum’s long effort to acquire a retired space shuttle.

Instead of a shuttle, the Seattle museum is due to receive a full-fuselage space shuttle trainer for the 15,500-square-foot Space Gallery under construction.

(Bonnie Dunbar, a retired astronaut and Issaquah resident, led the effort to secure a shuttle for the museum.)

The Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., features more than 150 historic air- and spacecraft, including a Concorde.

NASA announced the locations receiving retired orbiters Tuesday: Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the California Science Center in Los Angeles and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City as shuttle recipients. The orbiter Discovery is bound for 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,” Doug King, The Museum of Flight’s president and CEO, said in a release. “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. We invite everyone to celebrate with us at the museum this Saturday.”

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