Pieces of NASA’s space shuttle program soon will be landing in Charlotte. In a key acquisition of space history, an emergency escape basket – designed to whisk astronauts away from the launch pad in event of trouble – will become part of the permanent collection at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, Shawn Dorsch, the museum’s president, said Monday. It is part of a cache of items from the shuttle program that the space agency is assigning to prominent museums across the nation, Dorsch said. Other shuttle equipment is expected to be earmarked for the Charlotte museum soon, he said.
Additionally, NASA has notified the museum that it will be getting other items on loan by mid-March, including a production model of the Hubble Space Telescope, an astronaut survival kit and a one-third scale model of the Apollo command module from the moon program. Expanding the museum’s collection of space-related items is a priority at the fast-growing exhibition center behind Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.