PRESS RELEASE – The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force’s Space Shuttle Exhibit and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Learning Node will close beginning Aug. 3 in preparation for its move to the fourth building.Plans call for the Space Shuttle Exhibit to be disassembled, transported to the fourth building, re-assembled, and re-opened when the fourth building opens in spring 2016.The current STEM Learning Node will be moved to the fourth building’s Global Reach Gallery, and two new additional STEM Learning Nodes will be constructed, with one located between the new Space and Research & Development Galleries and another in the new Presidential Gallery.Aircraft and exhibits located near the current exhibit in the Cold War Gallery, including the AC-130, EF-111A, F-111F and F-117A, will be unavailable starting Aug. 3 for approximately three months as the work to dismantle the Space Shuttle Exhibit takes place.
According to Museum Director Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jack Hudson, although the closure of the Space Shuttle Exhibit will be inconvenient during the busy summer visitor season, the new Space Gallery will definitely be worth the wait.“The new Space Gallery in the fourth building will be phenomenal,” said Hudson. “We’ll finally be able to display all of our space-related aircraft and launch vehicles, including the Titan 4B, in one location, and along with the exhibits and newly designed STEM Learning Node, we’ll be able to provide an immersive experience that inspires and educates visitors of all ages about the important role of our Air Force in space.”
Contractors interested in submitting a proposal to move the Space Shuttle Exhibit and STEM Learning Node to the fourth building can do so until June 22 at 10 a.m. by going to the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fbo.gov/.The $35.4 million fourth building, which will also house the new Presidential, Research & Development and Global Reach Galleries, is being privately financed by the Air Force Museum Foundation, a non-profit organization chartered to assist in the development and expansion of the museum’s facilities.
With construction well under way, the foundation continues to fundraise toward their campaign goal of $46 million, which would provide for further options and requirements such as the STEM Learning Nodes and wireless capability in the building.The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 17 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year about one million visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit www.nationalmuseum.af.mil.
The Air Force Museum Foundation, Inc. was established in 1960 as a philanthropic, non-profit organization to assist the Air Force in the development and expansion of the facilities of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, and to undertake and advance programs and activities supporting the museum. The Foundation raises funds through its membership program, the Air Force Museum Theatre, Museum Store, flight simulators and Valkyrie Café, as well as from direct donations. For more information about the foundation, visit www.afmuseum.com.