Q&A: Space Shuttle Trainier set to make its Seattle debut

On Saturday, the Space Shuttle Trainer will make its official debut at the Museum of Flight in Seattle — giving the public an up-close look at the full-sized Space Shuttle replica that served as the training ground for every astronaut in the Space Shuttle’s three decades. The museum and the region have been preparing for this milestone for… Read More


Space Nerds Rejoice! The Super Guppy is on its way

Calling all space-exploration enthusiasts, aerospace aficionados and other flight geeks: the Museum of Flight announced today that a vital piece of its full-scale Space Shuttle Trainer, the crew cabin section, will arrive June 30 via the NASA plane dubbed the “Super Guppy.” Personally, we were kind of hoping that NASA would’ve come up with something more… Read More


First piece of Seattle’s Space Shuttle Trainer arrives

Seattle’s Museum of Flight today unpacked the first piece of its new Space Shuttle Trainer, unveiling one of three engine bells from the full-scale orbiter replica, which was used as a simulator to train every astronaut since the 1970s. First impression: This is going to bigger than I had imagined. The replica engine bell alone… Read More

Charles Simonyi (GeekWire File Photo)

Congratulations, Seattle: You’re getting a space toilet

It just kept getting better and better at Seattle’s Museum of Flight today. First former, Microsoft engineer Charles Simonyi announced that he would be donating the Soyuz TMA-13 Reentry Module that returned him safely to Earth after his second trip to the International Space Station. He’ll be making the spacecraft available on a long-term loan to… Read More

Atlantis lifts off. (NASA photo)

Wash. governor to NASA: We’re ready for Space Shuttle, while L.A. and NYC futz around

NASA’s selection of new homes for the retired Space Shuttles has been more than a little messy. The space agency’s own inspector general found multiple mistakes in the selection process, but NASA insisted that it didn’t affect the outcome. Seattle’s Museum of Flight, which came up just short of landing one of the Space Shuttles, recently raised… Read More

Atlantis lifts off. (NASA photo)

Seattle’s Museum of Flight questions data used by NASA to pick homes for retired shuttles

NASA staffers understated attendance for Seattle’s Museum of Flight and didn’t count Canadian visitors in their measure of the region’s international tourism during the site selection process for the retired Space Shuttle orbiters earlier this year. Those are the new assertions from Museum of Flight officials, as reported by the Seattle Times today. The paper… Read More

Atlantis lifts off. (NASA photo)

NASA report shows why Seattle didn’t land a Space Shuttle

Seattle’s Museum of Flight was among the top contenders this spring for a decommissioned Space Shuttle — placing well ahead of many other locations and just slightly below the eventual winners in NASA’s internal scoring matrix, according to data from a new report issued by the space agency’s Office of Inspector General. The biggest shortcoming: Our region… Read More

SpaceShipTwo in its first "feathered" flight in May. (Virgin Galactic photo)

Branson, Allen, Bezos gear up for the private space race

At the very end of his recent autobiography, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen briefly teases ahead to a future project — saying that he’s “just now considering a new initiative wit that magical contraption I never wearied of sketching as a boy: the rocket ship.” He adds, “Someone, after all, is going to have to get… Read More

Space Shuttle Atlantis on the launch pad last week.

End of the Space Shuttle era: Tracking the Atlantis launch

Weather permitting, NASA is less than an hour away from the scheduled launch of Atlantis, the final mission in the 30-year history of the Space Shuttle program. We’ve been following along with NASA’s live stream below, which includes some fascinating behind-the-scenes moments. Notes and links: Seattle’s Museum of Flight is opening early, at 8 a.m.,… Read More

The Full Fuselage Trainer, headed to Seattle

Getting to know our Space Shuttle consolation prize

OK, so we didn’t get one of the real Space Shuttles. But the thing we got looks a lot like one, if you don’t mind the lack of wings. Real-life astronauts trained in it. And hey, we get to walk around inside! That, at least, was the conciliatory message from Seattle’s Museum of Flight today,… Read More