|Charles Simonyi and Museum Senior Curator Dan Hagedorn with Soyuz capsule, courtesy Museum of Flight|
“Today’s exciting arrival of the Soyuz TMA-14 is a tremendous step toward the completion of the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery, which is now open to the public,” said Museum of Flight President and CEO Doug King. “Having the Soyuz TMA-14 as well as NASA’s Full Fuselage Trainer on display later this year, makes the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery one of the premier aerospace exhibits in the world.”
Simonyi, a high-tech pioneer and philanthropist as well as renowned space traveler, trained in the Soyuz TMA-14 during his preparatory time at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. He then traveled to the International Space Station on board Soyuz TMA-14, on March 26, 2009. The module stayed at the International Space Station (ISS) for the duration of Expedition 20, the 20th long-duration flight to the ISS and the first time a six-member crew inhabited the station. Simonyi returned to Earth in the Soyuz TMA-13 on April 8, 2009 and the TMA-14 remained at the ISS until Oct. 11, 2009 when it safely returned home.
“It is my pleasure to share the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft with The Museum of Flight and the thousands of people who will visit the Space Gallery each year,” said Simonyi. “I am grateful to have had the privilege to travel into space aboard this capsule and hope that the exhibit will inspire the next generation of space explorers.”
The 15,500-sq.-ft. Charles Simonyi Space Gallery will be home to the Soyuz TMA-14 and NASA’s Full Fuselage Trainer as well as other various rare space artifacts and interactive exhibits showcasing space travel from the earliest days of the space shuttle program to the future of commercial space. The Full Fuselage Trainer, in which every space shuttle astronaut has trained, will arrive at Boeing Field aboard the NASA Super Guppy aircraft. Due to the trainer’s size, it will be delivered in several different stages beginning in May.