County Council supports Issaquah astronaut’s effort to acquire space shuttle

June 28, 2010

NEW — 4:35 p.m. June 28, 2010

King County Council members cleared a space shuttle for landing Monday afternoon.

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 breaks 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.

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Local former astronaut hopes to land space shuttle for museum

April 20, 2010

Issaquah resident and former astronaut Bonnie Dunbar will step down as CEO of The Museum of Flight in July to focus on acquiring a decommissioned space shuttle 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. The Museum of Flight plans to add exhibition space, called the Space Gallery, to house a shuttle.

“Thanks to the governor and Legislature, the state’s capital budget included $3 million for a Space Gallery to house the space shuttle and other space exploration artifacts,” Dunbar said in a news release. “It brings us to three-quarters of our goal which we expect to reach soon. In the meantime, we are hard at work on a design for the gallery.”

Dunbar will step down as CEO on July 1. Michael Hallman, a museum trustee and a former Boeing and Microsoft executive, has already started handling day-to-day operations for the museum. Read more

Issaquah astronaut honored

September 15, 2009

The Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight

Secretary of State Sam Reed, Issaquah resident Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar and First Gentleman Mike Gregoire (from left) at the Sept. 8 Legacy Project ceremony. Dunbar, the first female astronaut from Washington, and president and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle, is being immortalized by a state oral-history project. ‘It is a real treat for Washingtonians and people around the globe to learn more about the Bonnie Dunbar story,’ Reed said in a news release. ‘She literally saw that the sky was the limit, and through an excellent work ethic, a top-notch education and family support, she excelled in a male-dominated field and flew five missions in space.’

Issaquah astronaut to be honored by state

September 8, 2009

NEW — 10:55 a.m. Sept. 8, 2009

Issaquah resident Bonnie Dunbar, the first female astronaut from Washington, will be immortalized by a state oral-history project.

Dunbar, president and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle, will tell her life story to researchers from The Legacy Project, a program established last year to document the lives of noteworthy Washingtonians.

A ceremony commemorating Dunbar will be held at 2 p.m. today at the museum. Watch the ceremony live on TVW or on the Web.

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Off the Press

January 12, 2009

Some pretty amazing people live in the ‘Quah

Kathleen Merrill Press Editor

Each year in our last issue of the year, we write about our top 10 news stories of the prior 52 weeks. We also go back and make a top-10 list of sports stories, and we run some great photos that were never published before.

As I flipped through the pages of every Press we printed in 2008, I became more aware of the number of awesome people we have living and working in this community. Maybe it’s in the water. Then again, maybe something about Issaquah just draws great people to the city.

Here’s a sampling of the amazing people who were on our pages last year:

Dennis Comfort has summitted Mount Kilimanjaro, not once, but twice, while Tom Varga climbed Mount Rainier.

Karen Angell and Susan Sidman Nieswander are two of the world’s best ballroom dancers.

Astronaut Bonnie Dunbar lives here.

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