Jack Rouse AssociatesJack Rouse Associates (JRA) Takes Home IAAPA Impact Award

What do you get when you combine a retired 747 space shuttle carrier, a city in Texas, and a whole lot of creativity? This year’s IAAPA Impact Award winner, Independence Plaza at Space Center Houston from Jack Rouse Associates (JRA). After NASA 905, the first Boeing 747 to be used as a shuttle carrier aircraft (SCA), was taken out of commission, it found a new home at Space Center Houston’s visitor center. A replica of the space shuttle was mounted to its roof, just as it would appear in transit.

JRA (Booth #1369) was faced with the challenge of retrofitting the interior of the plane to house exhibits about the SCA program. Since NASA 905 is an artifact, nothing could be mounted on the actual plane shell, so JRA used aircraft cables to create a flat surface on which to hang exhibit pieces. The company also had to create a visitor flow that worked with the shuttle and plane’s unique dimensions. The final product opened in winter 2016 and bumped attendance to the visitor center up 125 percent.

“There was a lot of hope and pride in just having this story to tell, and after this story has been so amazingly received, it’s a win for Space Center Houston, it’s a win for Johnson Space Center, it’s a win for the city of Houston, and it’s a win for the space program,” said Clara Rice, JRA’s director of communications, of the IAAPA Impact Award, “We’re very grateful to IAAPA for this award.”


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