Gray's Budget Funds Space Simulator for DC Schools

Described as "a two-room simulator that consists of a space station, complete with communications, medical, life and computer science equipment, and a mission control room"

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    The space shuttle Discovery, tethered to the back of a modified 747 jumbo jet, passes over the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, April 17, 2012 in Chantilly, Va.

    Mayor Vincent Gray's 2014 budget proposal includes money to build a space station simulator in the District's public school system.

    The space education center would be part of the national Challenger Center for Space Science Education, the Washington Examiner reports. The organization oversees a network of 41 such facilities across the United States, including one in Prince George's County.

    A location for the facility has yet to be determined, but it's described as "a two-room simulator that consists of a space station, complete with communications, medical, life and computer science equipment, and a mission control room patterned after NASA's Johnson Space Center and a space lab ready for exploration," according to the budget proposal, the Examiner reports.

    The facility expected to cost $1.5 million to design. Of that total, $1 million was included in last year's budget, and Gray's fiscal 2014 proposal includes the remaining $500,000.

    Russell Waugh is the program's outreach teacher. He says the simulation gives students a feel for being in space or at mission control.