The Tulsa Air and Space Museum will soon be getting a training simulator that was used by NASA to get astronauts ready for shuttle missions.
It's called a Crew Compartment trainer, and it's an exact replica of the front end of a NASA space shuttle used by every astronaut that went through the shuttle program.
"There's only two in existence, so it's pretty special in the fact that it's one of two," said Executive Director Tonya Blansett.
Blansett says bringing the piece of history to Tulsa will make a huge impact on the next generation of astronauts.
"What a better way to inspire kids, ya know, this is really cool, this model, but what if you have the real thing, and it’s really big, and they walk in and their eyes get big," she said.
Blansett says with Oklahoma's rich aviation history, the shuttle trainer couldn't have a better home.
"We're the only state to have an astronaut in every single NASA program starting with Mercury," said Blansett.
But getting an artifact that weighs 28,000 pounds and is 26 feet tall to Tulsa poses a problem.
The museum says the crew compartment trainer is too big to transport on highways, so they'll use a barge to bring it all the way from Houston to Tulsa using the Port of Catoosa.
That big trip comes with a big price tag. The museum says it will cost at least $400,000, and after covid interrupted fundraising last year, they’re hoping that along with some grant money, the public will step in to help offset some of the cost.
"Any additional funds would help," said Blansett.
She says donations can be made in person, on their website, or sent by mail.
"This is a phenomenal opportunity to be part of something very very special that's going to impact a lot of young lives for years and years to come," Blansett said.
The museum says the shuttle trainer should be ready for the public to view in 2022. For detail on you can support the Tulsa Air and Space Museum CLICK HERE