Also view photos from Senator Peter’s Museum tour and remarks on Flickr – Photos by Jen Vos
U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) provided remarks at the exhibit opening of “Space: A Journey to Our Future” at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 10, 2016. Senator Peters also toured the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, toured the new “Space” exhibit, spoke with students.
The 4,000 square-foot exhibit is presented in collaboration with NASA and highlights space exploration. It is on display at the Museum from November 5, 2016 until May 7, 2017.
“Space: A Journey to Our Future” is an exhibit that will immerse visitors in the discoveries of the past and introduce them to today’s explorers. “Space” includes easy-to-use interactive exhibits and state-of-the-art projection and audio technology. Visitors can ride a lunar module simulator on a journey to the surface of the moon and visit a simulated scientific base camp on Mars.
Gary C. Peters was sworn into office as a U.S. Senator from Michigan in January 2015, following his service as a member of the U.S. House of Representative for Michigan’s 14th and 9th Districts. He has also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve, the Rochester Hills (MI) City Council, the Michigan Senate, and as Michigan Lottery Commissioner.
Noting his numerous visits, Sen. Peters reflected on some of his favorite artifacts at the Museum which included the staircase from the former U.S. Embassy in Saigon, and Ford’s U.S. House of Representatives desk.
Gerald R. Ford, as Senator Peters remarked, also left a lasting impact on our country’s space program which has paved the way for our nation’s space exploration program.
Congressman Ford was a member of the House Select Committee on Astronautics and Space Exploration, where he helped draft the original Space Act that gave National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) its charter.
In July 1975 at the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States space programs launched the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in which separate spacecrafts from each nation docked together in orbit to exchange passengers and participated in research experiments.
As noted by NASA, the mission was a success both for the joint space flight and practical expression of cooperation that existed at the time between the United States and the Soviet Union. The joint mission also laid the foundation for future international space program between nations, both diplomatically and technologically, that brought international cooperation to our world’s space programs.
On July 21, 1976 President Ford also witnessed as the United States landed the first of the twin Viking explorers on Mars which was the first successful mission to the source of the “red planet”.
Sen. Peters highlighted numerous space advancements, including the new James Webb Space Telescope which when launched in 2018 will be the most advanced space observatory to explore the vastness of space, the moon landings, discovery of new stars and solar systems, and the near-future mission to Mars.
He also noted the many Michigan connections to the space program includes the University of Michigan Alumni Association Lunar Chapter, the Apollo 15 crew which consisted of all University of Michigan graduates, and Michigan businesses building the technology that will be used on the Mars expedition missions.