“The Space Station” is a privately funded, volunteered staffed space exploration museum that is operated by the 501c3 non-profit corporation, “The W Foundation” (TWF) (www.TheWFoundation.org). TWF owns one of the largest private collections of U.S., Russian and Soviet space exploration artifacts. The organization has attracted legendary figures such as Apollo 12 Astronaut Dick Gordon, Apollo 15 Astronaut Al Worden, award-winning actor Bill Pullman and video game designer Will Wright to its Board of Advisors.
The Space Station is an innovation in museum exhibits in that vacant commercial space is filled and the public gains a new education venue in their local neighborhood through private contributions. It is located in the Pacheco Plaza, a shopping center located in the upscale Ignacio neighborhood of Novato.
There is a need to have permanent space exhibits in the Bay Area to help educate children about the exciting history of space exploration, and to increase the public’s understanding that a strong global commitment toward future space travel is an important key to accelerating our civilization’s development. The emphasis will be on the history of space exploration, and how discoveries in science and technology allowed the U.S. to be a leader in space travel.
This is especially important in California, because this state was the birthplace of America’s spacecraft such as the X-Planes, the Apollo Command Module, the Space Shuttle, the Hubble Telescope, Spaceship One, the Space X Falcon Rocket and the robotic rovers that are currently roaming Mars.
This privately funded, volunteer staffed museum is unique in that visitors get to actually touch artifacts from The W Foundation’s extensive collection that made the long journey into space, and photographs inscribed by the astronauts that tell about their adventures in space exploration.
“The Space Station” opened on October 7th, 2011 with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by legendary astronauts Rick Searfoss, John Herrington and Dick Gordon. During their 6 missions, they have collectively traveled in space 66 days, performed 23 hours of space walks and journeyed to the moon.
The decision to permanently open this museum was based on the tremendous success of a pilot program that setup a temporary space education exhibit in vacant commercial space earlier in 2011. The 2-day exhibit attracted over 600 visitors
To date more than 36,000 visitors (including 12 astronauts) have come to the Space Station!