Space Mission : Space Shuttle Pavilion Essay

Space Mission : Space Shuttle Pavilion Essay

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Space Shuttle Pavilion is an exhibit within the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The museum is located at Pier 86, W 46th St & 12th Ave in New York City, and I visited the exhibit with my father and sister. The exhibit houses the first space shuttle created, Enterprise, as well as a temporary exhibit about the Hubble to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its orbit. Overall, the layout of the exhibit, the information provided, and the activities offered suggested that the exhibit had three main objectives: to showcase the Enterprise, to demonstrate the progress of the space program, and to encourage children to take an interest in it.
The exhibit is incredibly successful in displaying the Enterprise to everyone who walked in. When I first entered the pavilion, I immediately noticed a giant wheel in front of me.1 The entire exhibit is spread out in a room below the Enterprise. As I walked around the exhibit, the fact that I was under a shuttle was in the forefront of my mind. The information about the shuttle filled half of the room and the walls all around; the temporary Hubble exhibit was a self-contained portion on the other half that kept off the walls. Deciding to explore the permanent panels first, I went randomly from one to another without any particular order. There was no exact way to go because each panel discussed a different topic, but I was drawn to a panel in the middle that discussed how the Enterprise got its name. One side of the panel talked about Star Trek and the impact the television show had on the space program. The shuttle was originally supposed to be named Constitution, but after a petition of over 400,000 signatures reached President Gerald Ford, the orbiter’s name was changed to honor the st...


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...huttle Pavilion successfully reached two of its three objectives. While it managed to show off the Enterprise and to demonstrate the progress of the space program, it failed to increase the prospect pool for astronauts and NASA scientists. The last objective was the most important because the space program relies on interest in exploring; its lack of success might be the biggest detriment to our progress in space. Children are the future and we need to encourage them to explore the bounds of our known universe. The exhibit should have included more interactive stations for children where they could experience what it is like in a space shuttle. I personally enjoyed the exhibit because I love space, but if only those who enjoyed the idea of space exploration actually attended the exhibit, we would be further diminishing our chances to build more advanced shuttles.

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