When NASA’s space shuttle program ended last year, it opened a door to educate the public. Millions of dollars worth of equipment has been donated to Clovis North High School, which will be used to create complete an aerospace research museum.
Inside the cases were items such as: a robotic arm once used to retrieve satellites in outer space, a refrigerator / freezer from one of the shuttles and a collar off of a space suit.
“I can't even explain what it feels like that this is here today. There's no way to describe the feeling,” said Cliff Nitschke, A.P. Government teacher at Clovis North.
Nitschke has waited eagerly for these artifacts to arrive. Three and a half years ago he put in a request to NASA, it granted his wish, and now Clovis North is part of an elite class.
“We were competing against for these artifacts the Boeing Museum, Air and Space Museum, the National Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian. Based on what I’ve done in research we may be one of the only high schools in the country that's actually involved in this program,” said Nitschke.
Many of the students examining the items want to earn engineering degrees, so they are grateful for this opportunity.
“Seeing it later on in your career is possible, but seeing it in high school and being able to touch it and document it is really amazing,” said Simrin Kooner, a Clovis North student.
“The history behind this, the science behind this, everything behind this is incredible,” said Josh Samra, a Clovis North student.
“To have all of this math and to see where the blueprint has lead us right now, it's really a map for what we can do in the future,” said Albert Rodriguez, a Clovis North student.
No date has been set for this museum to open. Once it does, it will feature the artifacts as well as books, videos and multimedia presentations for the public to view.