The National Spaceflight Training Center (NSTC) announced plans today to
locate its spaceflight education and astronaut-training center for the
general public at the Santa Maria Airport in Santa Maria, California.

The site is also close to California’s military and commercial spaceport at
Vandenberg Air Force Base. Original plans called for locating the NSTC in
Houston, Texas. “We were thinking Houston all along, but developments in
the past several months led us to Santa Maria,” stated NSTC Director Mark

Support from the Santa Maria Valley Economic Development Association, Santa
Maria Public Airport District, California Space Authority (CSA), Santa Maria
Museum of Flight, and the Santa Maria Airport Regency Hotel all led to the
decision to locate NSTC in Santa Maria.

“Phase One” of the center’s development will involve building and outfitting
two 6,000 square foot metal buildings on a site right next to the Museum of
Flight at the Santa Maria Airport. The structures will house NSTC’s initial
spacecraft simulators, Mission Control room, classroom/theater, lounge, gift
shop, and offices. Later, a planned “Phase Two” expansion calls for
construction of buildings that will house additional simulators, an on-site
dormitory and cafeteria, and an IMAX Theater.

“The Santa Maria Public Airport District has reserved several acres of land
for us right next to the museum and expressed their willingness to put
together a favorable, long-term lease agreement once our funding is
complete,” stated Wendley. The NSTC still needs to raise an additional $2.0
to $2.5 million, however, before the project can move forward. The Santa
Maria Valley Economic Development Association and California Space Authority
are working to help NSTC complete funding by the end of June. The center
would open to the public seven months later.

The NSTC will offer adult space enthusiasts, college and high school
students, educators, and corporate groups the opportunity to “fly” simulated
Space Shuttle and Space Station missions in extremely accurate spacecraft
simulators. In addition, “Suborbital Astronaut Programs” will offer
training to those who hope to actually fly into space themselves in
spacecraft being designed and built today for space tourism. Plans call
for trainees to be housed at the Santa Maria Airport Regency Hotel. Programs
will include tours of the Museum of Flight and nearby Vandenberg Air Force

For additional information on the National Spaceflight Training Center, including
remaining investment and sponsorship opportunities, please visit the NSTC’s
updated web site at or contact NSTC
Director Mark Wendley at

The NSTC business plan has also been endorsed by the United States Space
Transportation Association (STA).