November 27, 2003
The Astrodome: A space museum?

Just one news item for today: The winner of the what-to-do-with-the-Astrodome sweepstakes is an outfit that wants to turn it into a space museum.

The empty confines of the Reliant Astrodome could someday offer a glimpse at the vastness of outer space.

And, maybe, a roller coaster.

That is the vision of the Astrodome Redevelopment Co., a consortium of engineering and entertainment companies pursuing the idea of putting a "space theme park" in the Dome.

"It's really more entertainment-oriented than education-oriented," said Scott Hanson, a vice president of Bryan-based Trajen Aerospace, which is part of the consortium. "But our concept right now will have components of both. How they mesh together is part of the details to be worked out."

Hanson said the preliminary concept involves dividing the interior of the Dome into quadrants, with each area sporting rides and attractions designed to let visitors experience some of the sights and sensations of space travel, such as a rocket launch or a journey through deep space.

"Being indoors, the Astrodome is really perfect for that kind of environment, where you control what the attendee is experiencing," Hanson said.

The seating levels surrounding what is now the playing field would be converted into hotel, restaurant and retail space that would allow patrons to view the space world while eating or shopping.

Okay, I guess. I can picture the museum part, but I've never quite understood the hotel concept. But maybe I just lack vision. Construction isn't even scheduled to get started until 2005, so anything can still happen. We shall see.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 27, 2003 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack