HOUSTON, Texas — A piece of NASA history has been put on display after being home to the Brazos Valley for 11 years.
NASA’s Motion Base Simulator has paved the way in training some of the best in space exploration – especially back home at Texas A&M.
The university has been in ownership of the simulator since 2011 for space education and research, but the chairman of The Lone Star Flight Museum Scott Rozell said this training vessel may have left Aggieland, preserving this ensures its place in history.
“It’s really special to The Lone Star Flight Museum to have this simulator of the space shuttle here in Houston,” said Chairman Scott Rozell.
“It’s one of the few real artifacts from the space shuttle program that is still in Texas, and we are delighted to have it here.”
Mike Fossum, Vice President of Texas A&M University and a former astronaut said he believes this piece of NASA training equipment belongs in a room full of airplanes.
“Without that training in here [Flight simulator] it would be impossible to fly the space shuttle itself so without this, the space shuttle would not have flown,” he said.
“It’s absolutely essential that’s why I believe it belongs in this museum of flight right here in Houston.”
In Saturday’s dedication ceremony, the simulator was recognized as it officially changed hands in ownership from Texas A&M to The Lone Star Flight Museum as part of their permanent collection.
Juan Garriga, a former training lead for NASA from 1992 to 2011, says it’s a bittersweet reunion to see this simulator and former colleagues once again.
“We were really sad to see it go when the shuttle [mission] ended [in 2011] and were also sad to see that the [flight simulator] got moved away [to College Station],” Garriga said.
“I’m really thrilled to have it here, it brings back a lot of great memories of training, comradery with other instructors, and astronauts.”
As Fossum is one of the only Texas A&M astronauts, he said he is prepared to see the next Aggie in space.
“I can’t wait for the next Aggie Astronaut to be selected,” Fossum said.
"I want the next generation of students to get excited [about space] and I know they will,
"I want their heads to be in the stars, I want them to dream about going to the moon, [and] I want them to dream about putting the first footprints on Mars because that’s what I dreamt as a youth.”
As the Base Flight Simulator has made it’s retirement in ‘Space City’, it will always be remembered by the many students and instructors that had the opportunity to work with it in Aggieland.