New horizons dawning at I
Men have always peered to the heavens with
breathless curiosity. It is a part of human nature to
question the unknown. The United States looked to
the sky with horror and an eerie feeling of disbelief in
wake of the vivid 1986 Challenger accident. Our nation had seemingly lost a crucial edge in space, an
unblemished record in manned-flight, and a vigorous
launch schedule. Six astronauts and a civilian teacher, tragically lost their lives. The city of Houston, the
place N.A.S.A. calls home, was equally if not more
devastated than the nation. The road to 1988 and a
revitalized space program was a long and difficult one.
The launch of Discovery in September 1988 and the
secret launch of Atlantis in December 1988 set the
wheels in motion for space exploration and renewed
our confidence. The country, the city of Houston, and
our very own University of Houston stand to benefit
from America's return to space.
America's return to space will allow N.A.S.A. to
continue a shuttle program which includes seven
manned space flights for 1989, initiate new unmanned exploration programs and to continue development of the space station which N.A.S.A. views
as the cornerstone of future efforts to re-explore the
moon or to journey to the red planet. The nation will
benefit from these continued programs scientifically,
commercially, and from a military point of view. We
tax payers hope to see some benefits associated with a
13 billion dollar space program!
The city of Houston is looking at a fantastic future
as home to N.A.S.A. and the Johnson Space Center.
This promising future is highlighted in two areas;
first, upcoming space voyages and a space station will
create a need for elbow room in the mission control
center and a training facility for space station-bound
astronauts. Assuming congress approves this could
create up to 1000 jobs in the Houston area and secondly, Walt Disney Imagineering has teamed up with
the Johnson Space Center to create SPACE CENTER
The design schematics of Space Center Houston,
published by the Manned Space Flight Foundation,
Inc. in September 1988, envision a 140,000 square
foot, two-leveled dome-topped building capable of allowing 6,500 visitors per hour to be "insiders" at SCH
through a day of experiences, live coverage of ongoing
missions, large format film and video, historical exhibits and a tour of behind-the-scenes action led by a
special breed of guides who are knowledgeable
spokesmen. Admission is expected to cost about
$5.00 per person and the Foundation predicts two
million people will visit Space Center Houston in the
first twelve months after opening day in early 1991.
Space Center Houston will not be a museum or a
theme park, but an experience center challenging
your senses, your emotions, your intellect, and your
immagination. Two million adventure-seeking visitors will provide an economic boost to Houston in
1991 as will the jobs created by building Space Center
Disney Imagineering and the Johnson Space Center
needed expert advice on how to handle food and beverage operations and service for such a large facility
as SPC. They chose the University of Houston. Overseeing all of this and acting as director is Dr. F.H.
"Ted" Wasky representing the Conrad Hilton College.
Planned are two restaurants, one with a wait staff and
the other fast-food style.
According to Albert Mertz, a senior at the Conrad
Hilton College, "The restaurant will be able to serve
10,000 visitors per day." Included in a proposal submitted to N.A.S.A. and Disney are all the various
functions of a large scale food and beverage operation,
such as: issuing and receiving, accounting duties,
security, storage areas, cleaning lines and arrang-
ment of foods to name a few.
The bottom line is that a major attraction center,
which involves millions of dollars and years of planning, will be built in Houston. The hierarchy of
N.A.S.A. and Disney Imagineering have placed a tremendous amount of confidence in the Conrad Hilton
College by asking for their cooperation and advice.
This directly enhances the school's image and credibility. As UH students and alumni, with a little coercion we may get a discount on admission to Space
Center Houston with our ID cards. ►
The shuttle Discovery blasted into orbit in September, the first space flight since the
shuttle Challenger mission ended tragically 73 seconds after liftoff on Jan. 28, 1986.
The Discovery ended its successful four day 1.6 million mile mission with a triumphant
landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Photo Courtesy AP
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