Clovis North High School gets a piece of NASA history. Artifacts from the space shuttle landed Friday.
"It's crazy but it's here today. It's surreal." Cliff Nitschke has waited three and a half years for his NASA moment. He got the idea to write NASA and ask for hardware from space after learning the shuttle program was coming to an end.
He decided to name drop. "I used our local connection of commander Rick Husband who went to Fresno State as sort of motivation and also to help us get the grant. And they started approving us for items."
Items like a million dollar robotic arm, used to retrieve satellites. There's also a tool box used to work on the Hubble telescope. "Take off the cover and put it over there and see what a $750–thousand dollar space refrigerator freezer looks like."
Students at Clovis North High School were impressed with the hardware large and small. "It's so cool. I'm trying to picture it in space. It's almost unreal just to see oh my gosh that was in space," said Senior Morgan Larson.
Clovis North was competing against Boeing, the National Air and Space Museum and other air museums for NASA artifacts. Teacher Cliff Nitschke believes Clovis North is one of few high schools in the country to receive items.
There's an unusual brand on every item that's been in space. Nitschke says each item has a burnt smell. "If you smell the robotic arm you get that smell of space. How many kids and how many people will get to smell what space smell is like."
Nitschke's next goal is to create a first class air and space research center on campus. He wants students from Central California to be able to get their own snap shot of space shuttle history.
Clovis North is expecting a second shipment of space shuttle hardware next week.
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