Long before the shuttles were flying, NASA's prime contractor on the space shuttle program built one called Inspiration... out of wood.
On this episode of This Week in Space, Rod Pyle and Tariq Malik look at full-sized lumber shuttle that still survives today in Downey, California, at the Columbia Memorial Space Center.
They're joined by Jared Head of TMRO, who joins the discussion to describe the history of the Inspiration shuttle and efforts to restore it to its former glory for the public to enjoy.
Related news story links:
- Wooden Space Shuttle
- Wooden Shuttle Wiki
- Columbia Memorial Space Center
- TMRO TV
- Space Cops
- SLS Wet Dress & Launch announcement
This Week in Space covers the new space age. Every Friday we take a deep dive into a fascinating topic. What's happening with the new race to the moon and other planets? When will SpaceX really send people to Mars?
Join Rod Pyle and Tariq Malik from Space.com as they tackle those questions and more each week on Friday afternoons. You can subscribe today on your favorite podcatcher.
Rod Pyle is an author, journalist, television producer and Editor-in-Chief of Ad Astra magazine. He has written 18 books on space history, exploration, and development, including Space 2.0, Innovation the NASA Way, Interplanetary Robots, Blueprint for a Battlestar, Amazing Stories of the Space Age, First On the Moon, and Destination Mars
In a previous life, Rod produced numerous documentaries and short films for The History Channel, Discovery Communications, and Disney. He also worked in visual effects on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the Battlestar Galactica reboot, as well as various sci-fi TV pilots. His most recent TV credit was with the NatGeo documentary on Tom Wolfe's iconic book The Right Stuff.
Responsible for Space.com's editorial vision, Tariq Malik has been the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com since 2019 and has covered space news and science for 18 years. He joined the Space.com team in 2001, first as an intern and soon after as a full-time spaceflight reporter covering human spaceflight, exploration, astronomy and the night sky. He became Space.com's managing editor in 2009. As on-air talent has presented space stories on CNN, Fox News, NPR and others.
Tariq is an Eagle Scout (yes, he earned the Space Exploration merit badge), a Space Camp veteran (4 times as a kid, once as an adult), and has taken the ultimate "vomit comet" ride while reporting on zero-gravity fires. Before joining Space.com, he served as a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering city and education beats. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University.