This morning, as the space shuttle Discovery made its dramatic arrival in Washington D.C., The Museum of Flight in Seattle unveiled the first sections of NASA’s Space Shuttle Trainer, three Engine Bells, which will be permanently housed at the Museum’s Charles Simonyi Space Gallery.
Museum of Flight President and CEO Doug King hosted a brief news conference to announce the arrival and to unpack one of the three Engine Bells, which are approximately nine feet in diameter and roughly 800 pounds each. The Shuttle Trainer is being delivered in several stages in the coming months, with the most recognizable portion, the Crew Compartment, tentatively scheduled for delivery on June 16 aboard NASA’s Super Guppy aircraft.
Workers remove one of the three Engine Bells from the Shuttle Trainer at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Each Engine Bell is approximately nine feet in diameter and weighs more than 800 pounds. Photo courtesy of NASA.
Built in the 1970s, the Shuttle Trainer is the only one of its kind in the world and is the simulator in which every space shuttle astronaut trained for space flight. It will be on display in the 15,500-sq.-ft. Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, where it will be joined by a collection of other rare space artifacts including Simonyi’s Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft and interactive exhibits showcasing space travel from the earliest days of the space shuttle program to the future of commercial space.
See the Seattle PI’s story here. Or check out The Seattle Times’ take here.