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July 3, 2000

Challenger Learning Center of Alaska

Journal staff

The $4.8 million Challenger Learning Center of Alaska has opened at 9711 Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai, Alaska, giving visitors a chance to experience a little virtual space travel.

The 11,500-square-foot center uses simulated space missions and hands-on learning to help students develop teamwork, problem-solving, communication and decision-making skills.

It is part of a network of 39 Learning Centers around the world and the only designated Challenger site in Alaska. Spokesperson Jane Cheatam said the Kenai center is "just off the showroom floor" in terms of the technology it uses, including the latest computers, interactive systems and access to NASA satellite data.


Two teams can work in the center at one time, one in a mission control simulator and another in a space station simulator. They monitor life, health and navigation systems.

The center was designed by Peter Kluder and Architects Alaska Inc. from Anchorage. The contractor was G&S Construction from Soldotna.

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