NASA has selected the Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium to be the new home for a full-size Space Shuttle Crew Compartment Trainer used to train astronauts during the shuttle program.


This follows an effort by the museum to obtain one of the retired vehicles in 2008 with the “Land the Shuttle” campaign.


“We are very excited! We will be raising funds to build an expansion for this exhibit and the CCT has to be removed from Johnson Space Center by September 2021,” Tonya Blansett, executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum, told the Times Record.


As the director noted, the deadline to bring the shuttle trainer to Tulsa is September 2021. There are also plans for the preparation and content development to create a popular new element to the museum.


Tulsa is no stranger to space exploration as many Space Shuttle and Apollo Mission components were manufactured in Tulsa. Supporting the museum’s educational mission, the shuttle trainer exhibit will emphasize problem-solving concepts and inspire visitors to pursue career paths in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as feeding the imagination of exploring space’s outer limits.


The shuttle trainer will honor those who designed, built and flew in the United State’s space shuttle program. It will also lend an exciting look into the future as humans pursue space exploration.


"Tulsa is home to many innovative and talented individuals moving our country forward in space," said state Rep. Kevin Hern (OK-01). "The arrival of this Compartment Trainer at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum will introduce Oklahomans to an educational piece of aerospace history and inspire generations of engineers and astronauts to come. As a former aerospace engineer, I look forward to checking out the new exhibit for myself!"


The shuttle trainer is a high-fidelity, life-size replica of the shuttle nose, cockpit and crew compartment of a shuttle, and will be a “crown jewel” of the museum’s NASA collection, a news release states. The shuttle trainer exhibit will host educational programs and be used for special and private events in and around the artifact.


More astronauts have been inside the CCT than all the shuttles combined. To join the many donors who honored the story of the shuttle program, visit https://www.tulsamuseum.org/donate/