SpaceX donated a Dragon spacecraft to The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (MSI). On December 1st, MSI representatives hosted a ceremony to celebrate the vehicle’s delivery to Illinois where it will be permanently displayed at the museum's Henry Crown Space Center. “On behalf of the MSI community I want to express my deep gratitude for this gift from SpaceX,” said MSI President and CEO Chevy Humphrey during the welcome ceremony. “The SpaceX spacecraft will undoubtedly spark the curiosity and creativity of future engineers, makers, scientists and those who will create the sustainable solutions that propel us forward. [...] I can't wait for the permanent exhibition to open.”
The exhibit will debut for the public in Spring 2023. It will be displayed alongside Scott Carpenter's Mercury ‘Aurora 7’ capsule, and the Apollo 8 command module that carried the first humans to orbit the moon, which are already on display at MSI. “On the walls of our rotunda, you will find the words, ‘Science discerns the laws of nature, industry applies them to the needs of humankind,’” said MSI Board Chairman David Vitale. “At the museum, we know that together, they unlock human progress. We were excited to add the SpaceX Dragon as the next great example of that marriage because we know it will inspire our next generation of innovators.”
Dragon was delivered by a truck that featured decorative SpaceX flags and stars, followed by a double-deck bus with SpaceX representatives and museum employees who waved at children excited to see a real-life spacecraft (see video below). “This Dragon spacecraft very much embodies an exciting future for MSI, for the South Side, for our city and, yes, for space exploration as a whole as we look to more lunar and Mars manned missions,” said Deputy Mayor of Chicago Samir Mayekar. “To have this at our fingertips for all of us Chicagoans and our visitors, it is going to inspire us for our next chapter in terms of us being a 'city of stories.'” Watch the full ceremony here: SpaceX Dragon Arrival To Chicago
The Dragon that was donated is identified by the company as – capsule C113, which was designed to carry cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program. It is the first generation design of the Dragon capsule which was retired in 2020 when SpaceX manufactured the next-generation Dragon 2 vehicle that is capable of launching astronauts and cargo to the orbiting laboratory. Dragon C113 visited the ISS twice. The first spaceflight was the CRS-12 mission in August 2017; a Falcon 9 rocket propelled Dragon C113 to dock to the Space Station to deliver more than 6,400 pounds (2,900 kg) of science equipment and crew supplies for the station's Expedition 52 astronauts. It returned to Earth after 31 days and 6 hours in space. Dragon C113’s second spaceflight was NASA’s CRS-17 mission in May 2019, which delivered around 5,500 pounds (2,500 kg) of cargo for the Expedition 59 crew, including vital science research supplies and ISS hardware.
An extra shoutout to MSI's out-of-this-world team for bringing yesterday's event together as we excitedly welcomed the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. 👏— MSI Chicago (@msichicago) December 2, 2022
Moments like these and the legacy of inspiration they’ll leave for years to come aren’t possible without every one of you! 🚀 pic.twitter.com/p4D8Q4ahXW
All Featured Images Source: Chicago MSI
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.