by Dan Gibson
There aren't many opportunities to see a spaceship. Even fewer to see a spaceship from the future, but for the next two days, NASA's Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle will be at the Pima Air and Space Museum:
NASA’s Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) crew module flight test vehicle will be on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum, 6000 E. Valencia Road, on Wednesday and Thursday, June 15 and 16, 2011.
The Pima Air & Space Museum is the only stop the MPCV crew module will make in Arizona. Lockheed Martin is moving the MPCV from Dryden Flight Research Center in California to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The transport is expected to arrive at the museum via I-10 from Phoenix at approximately noon on Wednesday, June 15. It will take several hours before the module will be open for public view. All activities are contingent on weather and traffic conditions en-route from California to Tucson.
The public can view the MPCV from 2 pm to 5 pm Wednesday, and from 9 am to 8 pm Thursday, with the last admission at 7 pm. From 2 pm to 5 pm Wednesday and from 9 am to 5 pm Thursday, regular museum admission includes access to the entire museum and the MPCV. Admission on Thursday from 5 pm to 7 pm will be $5 for adults with children 12 and under free. Only Flight Central Hangar, Spirit of Freedom Hangar and the Flight Grill restaurant will be open during this time.
Regular museum admission is $13.75 for adults; $11.50 for Pima County residents; $11.75 for seniors; $8 for children 7 to 12; children 6 and under are free.
Being built by prime contractor Lockheed Martin, the MPCV is based on designs originally planned for the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The MPCV has been designated by NASA as the next generation vehicle that will support deep space exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Initial crewed flight for the MPCV spacecraft is scheduled to be achieved by 2016.