Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis

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Grand Opening - November 17, 2003

The Grand Opening of the 49th Challenger Learning Center was a huge success with over 220 people in attendance and standing room only for the ceremony. Special guests included: Cheryl McNair, Founding member of Challenger Center for Space Science Education and wife of Ron McNair, Mission Specialist aboard the Challenger shuttle; Congressman William Lacy Clay; General "Ed" Eberhart, Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, and Commander, U.S. Northern Command; NASA astronaut Sandy Magnus; James Stofan, Director, Informal Education Division, NASA; and Colonel Michael Brandt, Commander of the 131st Air Wing, Air National Guard. After the ceremony, the crowd watched as the officials conducted a "systems check" before Sandy Magnus pulled the main switch to open the mock shuttle bay door that led to the real doors of the Challenger Learning Center. Once inside, guests were invited to go on a guided tour of the facility, get a signed lithograph by Sandy Magnus or enjoy the food provided by ARAMARK Corporation. The day's events ended with the students participating in the two-hour "Voyage to Mars®" mission.

AstronautSandyMagnus Audience CherylMcNair
CongressmanLacyClay DignitariesInAudience DougKing
EberhartSchoolBoard GeneralEdEberhart MillitarySpaceImages
OpeningDayMission OpeningShuttleDoor SandyMagnus
SystemsCheck TourOfMarsControl TourOfTransporter