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Tue, Jun 19, 2012

Project To Honor Commander Scott Carpenter

Centerpiece To Enhance New Space Exhibit At The Spirit Of Flight Center

May 24, 2012 marked the 50th anniversary of Astronaut Scott Carpenter’s launch and orbit of the Earth. Commander (USN, retired) Scott Carpenter was the second of NASA’s Project Mercury astronauts to accomplish this feat, with Senator John Glenn being the first American to orbit the Earth.

Scott Carpenter attended Boulder (Colorado) High School, as well as the University of Colorado where he studied Aeronautical Engineering. Today, a park, a swimming pool and a school are named in his honor in the Boulder area. The Spirit of Flight air museum in Erie, CO wants to further honor Commander Carpenter in the Boulder community by expanding the museum’s collection with a new space exhibit. “We focus on a window of history from 1935, beginning with a full size bronze statue of Amelia Earhart, to 1975 covering the Cold War and technology advancements” said Gordon Page, Founder and President of the Spirit of Flight Center. “Many of the artifacts on display are one of a kind, and now we want to add several items from the pioneering efforts to reach and explore Space.”

The Spirit of Flight Center is planning to round out its window of history by honoring Scott Carpenter with a full size bronze statue of the Astronaut, along with a full size reproduction of the Mercury 7 capsule (Aurora 7) that Carpenter commanded in 1962. Dave Gianakos, a 747 pilot for Delta Airlines is volunteering to complete the Mercury 7 capsule. “I love what the Spirit of Flight Center has accomplished with WWII artifacts, but my first love is Space. I am thrilled be a part of this dedication to Scott Carpenter,” said Gianakos. Dave Gianakos has completed models of Space vehicles for several museums in the United States, including the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

“I grew up in Boulder and spent a lot of time in Scott Carpenter Park” said Gordon Page.  “It has been a goal of the museum to expand into Space, and I can’t think of a better way to connect back to Boulder and also offer a destination for the general public to learn more about Commander Carpenter.”

The bronze statue is planned to be produced in Colorado, while the Mercury 7 capsule will be made from molds of an original example. Fundraising has begun for what is being called “The Scott Carpenter Project”.

“I can’t wait to see the final results of the new Spirit of Flight space exhibit,” said museum supporter and University of Colorado alumni Scott Deluise. He continued by saying “This project is a great way to give back to the community and will help future generations learn about Scott Carpenter. I certainly remember how he impacted Boulder.” (First image courtesy Spirit of Flight. Second provided by NASA)



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