Celebration launches book about late U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn

January 11, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 11, 2013

Leaders plan to gather in Newcastle on Saturday to honor the late Jennifer Dunn, a long-serving representative in Congress for Issaquah and other Eastside communities.

The occasion is the release of “A Woman First: The Impact of Jennifer Dunn” — a book about the trailblazing Republican’s career, life and legacy.

“Jennifer Dunn was a true trailblazer in Washington politics,” Secretary of State Sam Reed said in a statement. “Whether it was becoming Washington’s first female Republican Party chair or attaining a high leadership position in Congress, she reached impressive heights during her career.”

The book launch event is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. Jan. 13 at The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane. The scheduled speakers include Reed, former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, and radio talk show host and onetime gubernatorial candidate John Carlson.

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Students selected for aerospace residency at The Museum of Flight

June 26, 2012

Several of the Issaquah School District’s own have been accepted into this summer’s Washington Aerospace Scholars Program.

Spencer Schiefelbein, Tiffany Chiang, Alison Chiu and Alexander Liu, from Skyline High School, and Hunter Sapienza, from Issaquah High School, will join students from across the state to participate in one of four weeklong residencies at The Museum of Flight.

Launched in 2006, the program was designed to inspire students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math. This year, 297 high school juniors applied for the program. To qualify, they spent five months outside of their normal student duties studying an online NASA-designed curriculum. Of the 297 applicants, 160 were selected for the program.

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Local students compete for slots in high-tech aerospace residency

January 31, 2012

One memorable assignment so far was designing a space shuttle, according to Spencer Schiefelbein.

“I really like my robot,” Alison Chiu said.

Both age 16 and juniors at Skyline High School, Schiefelbein and Chiu are just two of five Issaquah School District students taking part in this year’s Washington Aerospace Scholars program. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say, they hope to take part in the program scheduled for this summer at The Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Starting near the end of December, students accepted into the first round of the program have been completing essay, math and graphics projects every other week, said Melissa Edwards, WAS director.

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Issaquah, Skyline students blast into aerospace program

July 19, 2011

Four students from the Issaquah School District will soon be studying a manned mission to Mars.

In November, 290 students applied for the Washington Aerospace Scholars Summer Residency program at The Museum of Flight. After months of homework from the program, the top 160 students — Neha Saraf and Keith Luu, from Issaquah High School, and Andrea Liu and Andrew Pedroni, from Skyline High School — earned places in the camp’s summer residency programs.

The students will team up with other high school juniors from across the state, participating in hands-on engineering challenges, such as the design, construction and deployment of robotic rovers, model rockets, lander devices and payload lofting systems.

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Issaquah, Skyline students blast into aerospace program

July 5, 2011

NEW — 5 p.m. July 5, 2011

Four students from the Issaquah School District will soon be studying a manned mission to Mars.

In November, 290 students applied for the Washington Aerospace Scholars Summer Residency program at The Museum of Flight. After months of homework from the program, the top 160 students earned places in the camp’s summer residency programs, including students Neha Saraf and Keith Luu, from Issaquah High School, and Andrea Liu and Andrew Pedroni, from Skyline High School.

The students will team up with other high school juniors from across the state, participating in hands-on engineering challenges, such as the design, construction and deployment of robotic rovers, model rockets, lander devices and payload lofting systems.

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Off the Press

May 10, 2011

Finding the right stuff in the right place

The day after NASA announced the museums fortunate enough to receive retired space shuttle orbiters, I talked to the former astronaut responsible for leading The Museum of Flight’s bid, Issaquah resident Bonnie Dunbar.

Warren Kagarise Press Reporter

NASA passed on the Seattle museum and instead selected sites in California, Florida and New York for the grounded fleet. The orbiter Discovery had long been promised to the Smithsonian Institution.

The Museum of Flight had hoped to add Atlantis, Endeavour or Enterprise to a custom-built gallery near the prototype Boeing 747 and a needle-nosed Concorde.

Instead, the museum is due to receive a space shuttle simulator built to the same dimensions as the real deal. Dunbar, only the seventh American woman to reach space, turned disappointment about the shuttle announcement into genuine excitement about the big-ticket consolation prize.

“If you went down to the next tier below the actual vehicle, this would be it,” she said.

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Issaquah astronaut spearheaded museum’s space shuttle effort

April 19, 2011

The space shuttle simulator bound for The Museum of Flight boasts the same look and feel as a full-fledged orbiter, down to the switches on the instrument panels.

Bonnie Dunbar, a retired astronaut and Issaquah resident, said the soon-to-be-retired simulator offers a “high-fidelity feel of the vehicle” and a glimpse of day-to-day life in orbit.

NASA did not select The Museum of Flight as a site for a retired space shuttle April 12, despite a yearslong effort to land a coveted orbiter. Dunbar led the push to secure a shuttle for the museum.

The space shuttle orbiter full fuselage trainer, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, will come to the Museum of Flight after the end of the shuttle program. By NASA

Instead, the Seattle museum is due to receive a full-fuselage space shuttle trainer for the 15,500-square-foot Space Gallery under construction. Dunbar and every other shuttle astronaut used the trainer to prepare for space flight.

“If you went down to the next tier below the actual vehicle, this would it,” she said. “These are the simulators the crew trains in before flight.”

Astronauts use the trainer to prepare for spacewalks and emergency egress from the shuttle. The interior includes equipment, lockers and a galley almost identical to the systems inside actual orbiters.

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Museum celebrates space shuttle trainer decision

April 16, 2011

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.

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Issaquah astronaut spearheaded museum’s shuttle effort

April 12, 2011

NEW — 11:45 a.m. April 12, 2011

Bonnie Dunbar

NASA did not select The Museum of Flight as a site for a retired space shuttle Tuesday, despite a yearslong effort to land a coveted orbiter.

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

Instead, the Seattle museum is due to receive a full-fuselage space shuttle trainer for the 15,500-square-foot Space Gallery under construction. Dunbar and every other shuttle astronaut used the trainer to prepare for space flight.

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Council supports effort to acquire space shuttle

June 29, 2010

King County Council members cleared a space shuttle for landing June 28.

The council offered support to a push by The Museum of Flight to acquire a decommissioned orbiter. The council approved the ceremonial measure a day before the museum broke ground on a facility to house a space exhibit and, maybe, a space shuttle.

Issaquah resident and former astronaut Bonnie Dunbar leads the effort to acquire the spacecraft for the Seattle museum.

NASA will retire the three orbiters by next year. Museums across the nation hope to net the shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour. The space agency has promised the shuttle Discovery to the Smithsonian Institution.

Gov. Chris Gregoire and state legislators offered support — and $3 million — to help land a shuttle for Washington.

Museum leaders touted the facility as a smart choice for a shuttle, because the museum sits amid a population center and adjacent to the type of airfield needed to deliver a shuttle. The museum also talked up the aerospace heritage inherent in the region. In addition, several astronauts hail from the Pacific Northwest, including Dunbar, a Washington native.

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