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Starchaser Nova Rocket Lands At Museum

Published by Rob on Mon Jul 2, 2007 2:56 pm
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Starchaser Industries and the New Mexico Museum of Space History have collaborated to bring Starchaser’s Nova Rocket, the largest rocket ever flown from British soil, to the museum for display. “We’re thrilled at this new partnership with Starchaser,” commented museum director Randall Hayes, “the Nova/Starchaser 4 rocket has visited hundreds of schools in the United Kingdom and has traveled across the southwest. It has inspired thousands of people and now our visitors will be able to experience that same thrill. We are particularly excited to have it on site for our annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza and for the remainder of the Shuttle Camp classes this summer.” Kimmarie Hartley, Director of Operations for Starchaser Industries in New Mexico, will be on site for the exhibit’s opening on July 4th.

The Nova/Starchaser 4 rocket, the world’s first privately built reusable rocket capable of carrying a person into space, was successfully flown from Morecambe Bay, England on November 22, 2001. Their next generation rocket, Skybolt, powered by a Storm bi-liquid engine, is currently near completion.

In 2006, Starchaser Industries, the first private space company to establish a New Mexico presence in response to the development of Spaceport America, announced plans to develop a 120-acre site approximately seventeen miles west of the City of Las Cruces in southern New Mexico. Starchaser Rocket City, located roughly 50 miles due south and well within striking distance of Spaceport America, will attempt to create a 22nd century space age experience through the creation of a high-tech theme park with an emphasis on science education. Exhibitions and hands-on experiences will be themed toward personal and contemporary spaceflight while celebrating New Mexico’s rich and varied space heritage.

“The most exciting part about being able to display the Nova at the Museum of Space History is that so many children and adults will have the opportunity to learn about the new race to space,” said Hartley. Starchaser Industries has a very active educational program in the United Kingdom that they hope to expand in southern New Mexico and the United States.

“As the Designated Repository for Spaceport America, we feel that it is very appropriate that the Nova rocket be on display here at the museum,” said Hayes, “especially considering that Starchaser will be one of the companies that will be using the spaceport in the near future.” The rocket is on loan to the facility for a minimum of six months.

“We would also like to give special thanks to Mesa Verde Enterprises for pitching in and transporting the rocket from the Starchaser site to the museum. The Mesa Verde crew was great to work with,” said Cathy Harper, museum marketing director. She added, “The Otero County Sheriff’s office and the Alamogordo Department of Public Safety also went above and beyond to escort the rocket to the museum. We couldn’t have asked for better community support!”

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. Admission to the museum is $3.00 for adults, $2.75 for seniors and military personnel, $2.50 for children four to twelve years old, and under four free. For more information, call 505-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at www.nmspacemuseum.org

PHOTO CUTLINE: Tim Rabon, on top of the rocket, works with Joe Lambert, on the ground, to prepare the Nova/Starchaser 4 rocket for transportation to the Museum of Space History. Both are with Mesa Verde Enterprises who volunteered their services to move the rocket from the Starchaser offices west of Las Cruces to the museum in Alamogordo. “We couldn’t have done it without them!” said museum marketing director Cathy Harper. “With Joe driving the truck and the Otero County Sheriff’s office leading the way, it was clear sailing all the way home!”

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