One of my earliest posts on the Prosperity Blog was about space…specifically, making our region the center for space tourism. I mean, hey, if people are going to pay huge sums of money to get a change to fly up into the atmosphere, it might as well be from here, right?
Alas, my dreams of people coming here to leave for space have not come true. But it’s still possible that people can come here to get a pretty good taste of what that would be like…
I refer, of course, to the Museum of Flight’s efforts to bring a space shuttle to Seattle: “The museum is one of approximately 20 sites around the country competing to be the home of the shuttle orbiters Atlantis, Endeavour and Enterprise (which was used to test atmospheric flight) after the retirement of the shuttle fleet later this year. The National Air and Space Museum, in Washington, D.C., is slated to get the shuttle Discovery and give up Enterprise, which currently is on display there.”
Creating a vibrant regional tourism industry is about two things: product development and marketing. We know that we’re not too good at the latter (or at least, we invest comparatively nothing into it compared to most other states), but luckily we’ve got a lot of great attractions – both natural and man-made – that makes up for that. But, like everything in this increasingly competitive global economy, you need to be always improving or you’re falling behind. And you can bet that a space shuttle would be one of those things that would drive a lot of folks to pack up and make the trek to our region.
The Museum of Flight is making a big investment in getting one of those three available shuttles, and apparently lots of community folks are signing on in support. And by the way, talk about inspiring kids to pursue degrees in STEM fields… Museum of Flight, you have the full support of the Prosperity Blog!