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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Brooke Regier

Brooke, an Aviation High School student, was tasked with writing an essay to help bring the Space Shuttle to The Seattle's Museum of Flight. Brooke's essay is one of many that received an award at the Seattle Chapter 99 meeting. While we all know that The Museum of Flight did not get the shuttle, we also know we got something much better: The simulator!

Every astronaut that has flown the Shuttle, had first trained in this simulator. Once it's on display, we get to climb inside and touch it! A much better gift.

We may not always get what we want, 
but we always get what we need!

Brooke, Thank You for a fantastic essay!

Brooke Regier

Space Shuttle, Mission: Seattle 

NASA has been America’s gateway into the great mystery of outer space. Their shuttle program was probably the most successful programs in NASA’s history. Atlantis, Endeavor, Discovery—such grand names for such grand spacecrafts. These three space shuttles, built by NASA, served their purposes well, flying brave astronauts into the outskirts of the unknown of interplanetary space. Even though they have had their days of glory, it is now time for them to find a home in which they will further rest. But which home would be deserving, let alone big enough to house the six-story high shuttle? Out of all of the extraordinary aerospace museums this country has to offer, The Museum of Flight certainly deserves the privilege of housing one of the retired NASA space shuttles.

To start off, the Museum of Flight is worthy of one of these historic spacecrafts because this specific museum has the best objective of all of the other twenty museums vying for one of the shuttles. Other space venues such as the Kennedy Space Flight Center (Florida), the Johnson Space Center (Houston), and the Marshall Space Flight Center (Huntsville, Alabama) have all justified themselves of being ideal locations for the shuttles because of their full devotion to aerospace study and teaching. They all have been key places for NASA’s shuttle program.

Unlike the other museums, The Museum of Flight is specifically designed for the purpose of education and informing the public in the context of aviation and aerospace. Its eight different and unique permanent exhibits give each viewer a taste of aviation of all eras. This includes space. The Museum of Flight is already looking to further expand their space exhibit, and what better addition than an actual shuttle? Venues such as the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and the Johnson Space Center in Houston are not only museums and learning centers, but they are also workplaces and research centers. This does not make for the best place for one of the shuttles if only a portion of the facility is for the public’s sake. The public are also already very informed of the space program and all that it has done thanks to what strong programs these other space centers already have to offer.

This is a fantastic opportunity to enlighten the Seattle community of NASA’s immense accomplishments in a most stimulating way. The Museum of Flight isn’t a workplace like so many of the other space centers. The entire site is dedicated to being a museum, unlike so many of the other competitors. This sets The Museum of Flight apart from all the others making it the most excellent candidate for being the home of one of the retiring spacecrafts. In addition to having the best purpose, The Museum of Flight is also in the perfect location. The Kennedy Space Center in Florida is centrally located, and even on “Space Coast”.

A site like this would certainly have its benefits for the shuttles attraction factor. Even though this is true, The Museum of Flight still has the best location nationally and regionally. As well as being located on Space Coast, this likely means that many people have already seen the shuttles in full action.

Why would the people that get to see the blast-off want to see it in dormant condition?  Nationally, The Museum of Flight is in one of the most ideal settings for them to encompass a shuttle. One of the shuttles is already planned to be housed in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. The Kennedy Space Center is just a venture down the coastline, while The Museum of Flight is on the entire other side of the country. Spreading the shuttles out amongst the country would benefit the amount of people that would get a chance to see it. Let’s give the North Westerners a chance to be part of this national experience! On top of it being perfectly located nationally, it is the same for being regionally located. This is because this museum is in such easy-access of so many key places.

The Seattle Pacific Science Center, a major part of the Seattle education and tourist attractions is just a quick jump in the car. Boeing Field is directly behind The Museum of Flight which easily solves the problem of how to get the shuttle to its desired location. SeaTac International Airport is, as well, a short drive from the museum. I-5 is located right there too. Being in such a central location really gives this museum a running chance in this massive decision.
On top of being in such a convenient location, the museum and its surrounding community are committed to and extremely excited about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. The Marshall Space Flight Center in Houston, Texas, is the very original home of NASA. Even though this seems like an idyllic location for one of the three shuttles, The Museum of Flight is completely gung-ho and thrilled about this potential opportunity.

STEM education is a huge part of what The Museum of Flight is all about. There are limitless learning opportunities at The Museum of Flight anywhere from fifth grade field trips to their Aerospace Camp Experience, to their Washington Aerospace Scholars program. One can definitely be assured that the shuttle will dutifully be put to good use in the aspirations of educating the public. As well as being excited about an impending new space addition in their museum, they are also thrilled about another add-on that makes the museum all the more qualified to house the shuttle. Aviation High School is planning on making their future home practically on the museum’s grounds. This unique high school is all about STEM education, and will strengthen the aviation community in this area all the more. This means that the shuttle being located in Seattle will be all the more beneficial to the students seeking education. It will, guaranteed, reach its full teaching potential with so many students right at hand.

Plans for how the shuttle is to be housed are already being created at the museum’s site making their excitement and anticipation all the more. The other potential aerospace museums are very great in size, and are likely to also have a place that is most ideal for the shuttle to be displayed. Although they have so much room, The Museum of Flight has already anticipated the perfect spot for such a prize. They are planning on building an addition to the museum by constructing a space gallery that will be the home of all of their fascinating space artifacts. This structure will be located on the Air Part exhibit grounds where all of the museum’s actual airplanes are kept for the fascination of the public. What better location for one of the retiring shuttles?

Because The Museum of Flight has a fair amount of aircraft in their back yard located in the Air Park, this obviously means that they had to get there somehow, meaning that there shouldn’t be much trouble in attaining the space shuttle to Seattle. The museum has even gone as far as posting a petition on their website for the Seattle community to partner with them in fighting for the spacecraft. There is no backing down when it comes to Seattle’s persistence. 

The Museum of Flight ultimately deserves one of the retiring NASA space shuttles because of their motives, location, and overall dedication and commitment to the aviation community and STEM education system. With the addition of a larger, grander aerospace exploration exhibit, this museum is fully capable of taking on such a project as this. The North Western tourists and public are sure to love this once-in-a-lifetime edition to one of their favorite and most well-supported museums. The Seattle community is not likely to give up that easily.

The Museum of Flight is ready to beckon one of these three shuttles—Atlantis, Endeavor, or Discovery—home. 

Enjoy the Journey!
~ Karlene


  1. I'll edit her future book, too.

  2. Nice job, Brooke! And like you said, Karlene, it's so great to have the simulator here. I love learning about all this stuff.

  3. Don't get me started on the NY thing....but at least we got a simulator that we can go inside. We did better than Houston, that's for sure!
    Good job!

  4. What an excellent essay! I loved learning more about Space Shuttle Mission: Seattle. Thank you for sharing that with us Brooke!

  5. OMG, and yet another one, Karlene. I don't know how you do it! In addition to having fallen for the flying bug (and being cute) this young woman can write. She has a strong and secure future ahead of her.
    (Yes, your husband should be paying attention. With Mom's Day approaching, he should be thinking and supporting lots of cute stuff. Just my opinion...) Best wishes, -Craig

  6. Thanks for your comment Christine. You're going to have so much work. And... you will do all mine!

  7. Thanks Linda, you can come and play in the simulator with me too.

  8. Okay Tom... no NY comment. And we did way better than Houston. But you are so going to love the simulator. It's going to be so cool!

  9. Thanks for your comment Heather, I'm learned so much from her essay too. Things I had no idea.

  10. Craig you are so right on all accounts! And I'm thinking we could give you a new job... adviser for my husband! lol. I would love it. :)


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