Cruise Port Update: Grand Turk gets NASA exhibit

It’s not all sandy beaches, shore excursions and shopping in Grand Turk these days. A unique exhibit commemorating the National Aeronautics & Space Administration’s (NASA) Mercury space program and the historic 1962 splashdown of the Friendship 7 capsule off the coast of Grand Turk is now open at the Grand Turk Cruise Center.

“Splashdown Grand Turk” is a 3,500-square-foot attraction celebrating the unique relationship of the American human spaceflight mission which has special significance to the island’s history.

“We believe that having this great exhibit at the Grand Turk Cruise Center not only pays homage to the remarkable history of the NASA space program, but also shows the historical richness of the island,” said David Candib, director of business development for Carnival Corporation & plc, which operates the Grand Turk Cruise Center built in 2006.

Part of the Grand Turk Cruise Center, the free exhibit features a history of the Mercury space program, including replicas of an Atlas rocket model, astronaut John Glenn in a spacesuit, and the Friendship 7 capsule.

Storyboards at the exhibit depict the accomplishments of the NASA space program and detail the differences in space equipment of yesterday and today while offering an overview of the current space program and future plans.

Grand Turk is part of the Turks and Calicos island chain, located North of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Grand Turk Cruise Center is a beach front cruise facility where guests can swim in the ocean or in one of the largest swimming pools in the Caribbean.

Photo courtesy Carnival Corporation