The Museum of Flight is opening its new Charles Simonyi Space Gallery early with a temporary exhibit on the future of human spaceflight and a preview of the permanent exhibit being developed around NASA's Full Fuselage Trainer.
The temporary exhibit explores the exciting developments taking place as America’s commercial spaceflight industry works to open up access to space. To date, just over 500 people from 38 countries have traveled to space – the majority of those on the Space Shuttle. The end of the Space Shuttle Program brings a new era in human spaceflight, particularly for the United States. As NASA changes its priorities to focus on interplanetary spaceflight, it is partnering with and looking to commercial companies to take the lead in launching people and equipment to low Earth orbit.
The display also includes an exciting preview of the upcoming permanent exhibit, titled Spaceflight Academy, which centers on NASA’s Full Fuselage Trainer. The exhibit, which is scheduled to open in June of 2012, tells the story of how astronauts train for their mission and how the knowledge gained during our first 50 years of spaceflight has helped prepare us to explore farther into the solar system.