| March 12, 2004
||For immediate release
Apollo 7 Command Module and
Wally Schirra’s Training Suit Leave Science and Tech Museum After 30 Years
Ottawa — After a 30 year stay, the Apollo 7 Command Module and Wally Schirra’s training suit will be returning to the United States. The Command Module will be going to a new museum in Dallas, Texas – the Frontiers of Flight Museum. The training suit is being returned to the Smithsonian Institution’s Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration and Storage facility in Suitland, Maryland.
Initially intended as a two-year loan, the Command Module and the training suit have made the Museum their home since they arrived in 1974. David Baird, the Museum’s director at the time, made the request for both artifacts under the Smithsonian’s two year loan program. The loan has been renewed every two years since. Although the Museum did not have a space exhibition at the time, Dr. Baird accurately predicted that the Command Module and the training suit would appeal to the Museum’s visitors.
Both the Apollo 7 Command Module and Wally Schirra’s training suit will be on display until April 12, 2004, at which time they will both be moved to the Museum’s Conservation Lab for cleaning and preparation for transport. The Apollo 7 will be shipped at the end of April so it can be installed in time for the Frontiers of Flight Museum’s opening gala celebration on May 21, 2004.
The Museum’s conservation staff is working with their counterparts at the Smithsonian Institution to develop a shipping support and crate to protect the Apollo during transportation. “It’s not as if we can wrap it in shipping blankets”, said Robson Senior, Director of Conservation Services at the Museum, “it needs to be carefully protected from potential physical damage it might sustain en route as well as from the elements”, added Senior. The Museum anticipates that it will take 3 weeks to complete the cleaning and preparation process for both the Apollo and space suit.
When asked what effect the removal of these two artifacts will have on the Canada in Space Exhibition, Randall Brooks, Curator of Physical Sciences and Space responded “we are sad to see them go. They help shed light on manned space travel and most of our visitors will not have an opportunity to visit other institutions in the world where such artifacts are on display. The last flown US space craft on display outside the US is at the Science Museum in London, England”.
Visitors have a last chance to see both the Apollo Command Module and Wally Schirra’s training suit until April 12, 2004.
The Canada Science and Technology Museum is located at 1867 St. Laurent Blvd., Ottawa. There is plenty of free parking. Regular admission fees apply.
General information: Call 613 991-3044.
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