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Another exciting field trip! This time we ventured to Mojave Air and Space Port,  a test center for cutting edge aerospace ventures like SpaceShipOne, which won the Ansari X Prize in 2004 for completing the first manned private spaceflight.  Now it is home to Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo facility (which we visited but cannot tell you about!), the National Test Pilot School and other cool operations, and a final resting boneyard for an impressive fleet of retired aircraft. We also heard from legendary aviator Dick Rutan, who piloted the non-stop Voyager flight around the world. And on the way home we swung by the U.S. Air Force Production Flight Test Installation to ogle at some more amazing planes… a VERY full day.

Can you say The Right Stuff? Early one morning our lucky team drove across the desert to tour Edwards Air Force Base, home of cutting edge aviation and daring test pilots.  We took a look at several artifact candidates, including a  LLRV (Lunar Landing Research Vehicle)  similar to the one from which Neil Armstrong ejected during a test flight. Other highlights included seeing a Global Hawk drone and watching Senior Vice President Diane Perlov try her hand at piloting a NASA flight simulator!

Endeavour is on view! The temporary Samuel Oschin Pavilion is open to the public, showcasing the mighty orbitor in all its grandeur, along with artifacts like a Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) and SpaceHab, a module that expanded liveable, workable space in the shuttle’s cargo bay.  Also on display are the first hints of the permanent exhibit, including some of our drawings that give a sneak peek of gallery organization, and paper models that reveal the exhibit program’s influence on early architectural studies. It’s starting to get real, folks!

In our second workshop, activities and dialogue focused on the paper models presented to the California Science Center executive staff, overall interpretive themes, relative sizes of the air, space and shuttle galleries, new artifact acquisitions to flesh out thematically driven exhibit clusters, the location of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on the site, and the overall massing of the artifacts we have to date.  By the end of day one, the group agreed that we were ready to collaborate directly with the architectural team.

In our second workshop, activities and dialogue focused on the paper models presented to the California Science Center executive staff, overall interpretive themes, relative sizes of the air, space and shuttle galleries, new artifact acquisitions to flesh out thematically driven exhibit clusters, the location of the Space Shuttle Endeavour on the site, and the overall massing of the artifacts we have to date.  By the end of day one, the group agreed that we were ready to collaborate directly with the architectural team.

Evidence Design (EVD) escaped the winter freeze in New York to join California Science Center museum director Jeff Rudolph and Diane Perlov, senior Vice President for Exhibits, as well as members of the architectural and engineering teams for an unforgettable behind-the-scenes tour of the Kennedy Space Center. Space Shuttles Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour were all on site to be readied for their final destinations.

Tour highlights included channeling our inner astronaut as we took turns at the controls inside Discovery’s flight deck, ascending the massive launch tower, and touring the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and the Orbitor Processing Facility (OPF). SpaceX was on the tour as well—its gleaming facility held the Dragon Module soon to make its inaugural launch.