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Space & Rocketry Exhibits

swaggert-bigThe space technology exhibits at Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum include models and displays demonstrating spacecraft and missile technology both historically and in the future. Explore the science of spaceflight with our interactive exhibit and experience the adventure!

Our Space Station Module started life as Martin-Marietta's mock-up for a proposed space station entry to be called "Freedom". The original proposal was for an American-only space station. The concept was later changed to include Russia and the European Space Agency and became known as the International Space Station. Martin's entry into the proposal race was rejected and ultimately found its way to our Museum.

We also have an Apollo Command Module boilerplate. This is a full scale replica which was used by NASA to develop and test capsule retrieval procedures and train astronauts for the Apollo missions to the moon.

Anchoring the south-east corner of Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum's main floor is an actual interstage skirt from a Titan IV rocket. Lockheed Martin built Titan IV's to launch large National Defense payloads into earth orbit. A Titan IV was also used to launch the National Aeronautical and Space Administration's (NASA) Cassini probe to the planet Saturn.

There are an assortment of scale models ranging in size from a table-top diorama of a moon base to a sixteen foot model of a Titan II launch vehicle as well as several hands-on exhibits demonstrating some of the conditions encountered in space.

NASA HL-20 Personnel Launch System


The “Horizontal Lander” HL-20 was developed by NASA’s Langley Research Center during the 1980s and 1990s. It was one of several designs considered by NASA to supplement the space shuttle with adependable, crewed transportation at minimal cost.

The HL-20, which is significantly smaller and lighter than the space shuttle orbiters, was to be launched into low-Earth orbit on an expendable rocket and then use its own propulsion system to boost itself to the International Space Station. After making the exchange of crew or payload, the HL-20 would return to Earth, landing on a runway near the launch site.

As part of the extensive research and testing of the HL-20, students from North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T University, with a grant from NASA Langley, constructed this full-size, engineering research model in 1990 in order to conduct human factors testing to order to validate the design the usability of the vehicle. 

During testing, Langley volunteers participated in many human factors studies, including:

  • Habitability
  • Crew seating arrangement
  • Ease of entrance and exit
  • Visibility during docking and landing operations
  • Launch abort scenarios

Volunteers were even placed in flight suits and helmets for simulated launch and landing.

Due to decreased funding, the HL-20 program was cancelled, and the years of research and testing were shelved until Sierra Nevada Corporation continued it in 2005.

CASIS: Science in Space for Life on Earth

casisThe Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) is the sole manager of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. CASIS: Science in Space for Life on Earth is an exhibit that educates guests on how CASIS works with the ISS to run scientific experiments in space. It is also a celebration of the impact of CASIS and the ISS on science here on Earth.

CASIS: Science in Space for Life on Earth is housed in the Core Module Integration Simulator (CMIS), which is Martin-Marietta's (now known as Lockheed Martin) mock-up for their entry for Space Station Freedom in the 1980s.

This exhibit features a timeline of historical and fictional space stations, a look at life inside the ISS and a live tracker of its location in space.

Thank you to CASIS for the generous donation to make this exhibit possible.




Star Wars at the Hangar

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