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You will find information about the West Valley side of the Phoenix Metro area. "Snappy" will also feature attractions and places throughout Arizona.

Arizona is more than the Grand Canyon state, it is a place to embrace and call home. From our famous palm trees to our beautiful pine trees, Arizona's landscape is brimming with nature's grandeur and diversity. Our majestic mountains invite you to climb, our valleys coax you to explore and our plains whisper stories of civilizations past. Saddle up to history-rich towns, breathtaking views and world-class fashion and food.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Challenger Space Center Arizona, Peoria, AZ

With the launch of the last space shuttle mission, I thought now would be a good time to have a look at some of the exhibits that Challenger Space Center has to offer.

An Astronaut’s Life:
Articles Flown In Space
Featured are 23 items on loan from the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., 19 of which have flown in space on Gemini 8, Skylab 2, and several STS missions. The artifacts tell the story of how astronauts live in space. Included are a washcloth from the first Space Shuttle, STS-1 Columbia, clothing and bio-belt worn on Skylab 2 by astronaut Paul Weitz, space food from STS-27 Atlantis, and an actual heat shield fragment from Gemini 8 which carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott into orbit on March 16, 1966. The 23 items include additional artifacts that while earth-bound, helped astronauts and NASA prepare for space exploration. Visitors will see a model of the complete, two-astronaut Gemini spacecraft as it appeared in orbit, a Mercury capsule hatch, a procedures trainer form-fitting couch, and a TV camera similar to the one used to transmit images of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11 and record their activities (the original camera is still on the moon). The exhibition is made possible by a grant from the Tohono O’odham Nation. The new gallery is made possible through the generous contributions of corporate partners CORE Construction and Knight Transportation, and a City of Peoria grant.

Astronaut Bill Gregory Loans Items Flown In Space
Former NASA Space Shuttle Astronaut William Gregory has placed on loan some of his personal items which flew with him on STS-67 Endeavour March 2-18, 1995. Among the articles are a shirt worn by Gregory in space, part of a detonated nut which held a rocket booster in place on the launch pad, a disposable interface used to grow protein crystals in microgravity, back-up checklists and some of his personal hygiene items that he used during the research mission. Also on display are Gregory’s NASA jet flight suit, helmet, oxygen mask and boots he wore as a T-38 test pilot.

My Solar System by PlayMotion!
Have you hugged a planet today? Challenger Space Center's newest interactive exhibit is made possible by a grant from the Tohono O’odham Nation. Visitors can catch and hold a virtual planet as bubbles appear with relevant science facts

Columbia Shuttle Memorial Display
On February 1, 2003, the world lost seven brave heroes; NASA lost seven family members and friends. When the space shuttle mission STS-107 ended in tragedy over the skies of the southwestern United States, the anguish of the loss was felt around the world, including here in Arizona. The people of Arizona came to the Challenger Space Center to remember the crew in their own ways. They left many items and tributes to the crew. In tribute to those who were lost, the Challenger Space Center has a small memorial display consisting of several items that were left at the Center in the days after the accident, as well as photos and several other items in memory of the crew.

Robert McCall's "Tour of the Universe" Mural
As visitors cross the elevated gantry bridge into the Center, the first sight they see is a six-story mural wrapping around the walls of our rotunda. This mural, painted by world-famous space artist, Robert McCall, encircles the entire interior rotunda of the main floor. Utilizing 27,000 square feet of canvas, this phenomenal piece of artistry took six months to complete. It is believed to be the largest mural in Arizona.

Atlantis Space Shuttle Model
This 10 foot high model of the Atlantis Space Shuttle was donated to the Challenger Space Center by Honeywell. Before finding a permanent home at the center, this model traveled around the country to different industry trade shows and educational events associated with Honeywell.

Journey Through the Space Program
The second floor of the Challenger Space Center has been re-organized to give visitors a chance to take a walk back through manned space flight. Starting with the current day space station and space shuttle, and stretching back past Skylab, Apollo, Mercury and Gemini, these displays offer a chance to see how much NASA has accomplished over the last several decades. Among these displays are included mission patches from every mission flown, and several other pictures and donated materials related to each of these programs.

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