how to astronaut

Lone Star Flight Museum blasts off with new interactive space shuttle experience

Mark Kelly and his astronaut crew training in the simulator, which will move to the Lone Star Flight Museum. Photo by Bill Stafford/NASA

Local fans of all things space will soon get up close and personal to a pivotal training tool for NASA astronauts.

The Lone Star Flight Museum is the new home for NASA’s Space Shuttle Motion Base Simulator. The simulator, a crucial part of astronaut training for 35 years, will transform to an interactive exhibit at the museum.

Fans are invited to watch the simulator, which will leave its current location at Johnson Space Center’s Hangar 276, arrive at the museum facilities and slowly taxi down Ellington Airport taxiway Kilo on Tuesday, April 12 . Those interested should arrive around 10:30 am to greet the simulator before it moves to its permanent location at the museum’s Heritage Hangar.

Following the transport and arrival, the public is invited to view the new simulator exhibit for free from 4 pm to 6 pm. The experience includes the simulator assembly and related artifacts including the trainer’s console and crew procedures, as well as sound and video from the last simulator run of the STS-135 crew in July 2011, according to a press release.

Why is the simulator significant? This Motion Base Simulator was constructed in 1976 to support the Approach and Landing Tests using the Space Shuttle Enterprise and also modified to support future space shuttle missions, per NASA. In January 1979, it was activated to support flight crew training for the STS-1 mission.

Boasting a full-scale replica of the forward flight deck of a space shuttle orbiter, the simulator’s windows projected simulated views during various phases of the flight while motion systems simulated space shuttle movements.

A fixture at Johnson’s Jake Garn Simulation and Training Facility, the simulator prepared astronauts for flights for decades. Dr. Bonnie J. Dunbar, retired NASA astronaut, aerospace engineering professor at Texas A&M University, and flight museum board member, worked with a team of volunteers to restore the simulator, spending some 5,000 restoration hours doing so, NASA notes.

Notably for Space City fans, NASA’s Johnson Space Center is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Trending News

Building Houston

 
 

Folks are making a run to Missouri City. Photo Courtesy Missouri City

More movers hauled their belongings to Texas than any other state last year. And those headed to the Greater Houston area were mostly pointed toward Missouri City and Conroe, according to a new study.

In its recently released annual growth report, U-Haul ranks Missouri City and Conroe at No. 13 and No. 19, respectively among U.S. cities with the most inbound moves via U-Haul trucks in 2022. Richardson was the only other Texas cities to make the list coming in at No. 15.

Texas ranks No. 1 overall as the state with the most in-bound moves using U-Haul trucks. This is the second year in a row and the fifth year since 2016 that Texas has earned the distinction.

“The 2022 trends in migration followed very similar patterns to 2021 with Texas, Florida, the Carolinas and the Southwest continuing to see solid growth,” U-Haul international president John Taylor says in a news release. “We still have areas with strong demand for one-way rentals. While overall migration in 2021 was record-breaking, we continue to experience significant customer demand to move out of some geographic areas to destinations at the top of our growth list.”

U-Haul determines the top 25 cities by analyzing more than 2 million one-way U-Haul transactions over the calendar year. Then the company calculated the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a specific area versus departing from that area. The top U-Haul growth states are determined the same way.

The studies note that U-Haul migration trends do not directly correlate to population or economic growth — but they are an “effective gauge” of how well cities and states are attracting and maintaining residents.

Missouri City is known for its convenient location only minutes from downtown Houston. The city’s proximity to major freeways, rail lines, the Port of Houston, and Bush and Hobby Airports links its businesses with customers “around the nation and the world,” per its website.

The No. 19-ranked city of Conroe is “the perfect blend of starry nights and city lights,” according to the Visit Conroe website. Conroe offers plenty of outdoor activities, as it is bordered by Lake Conroe, Sam Houston National Forest and W. Goodrich Jones State Forest. But it also has a busy downtown area with breweries, theaters, shopping and live music.

To view U-Haul’s full growth cities report, click here.

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap.

Trending News