Challenger Space Center 360º: The future of Robert McCall’s mural is unknown

PEORIA – While the Arizona Challenger Space Center has completed its final mission in Peoria, it is on another mission to preserve one of its largest exhibits.

Within the Center’s rotunda is a 360-degree mural painted by Robert McCall, an artist known for his depictions of space and a futuristic look at what the world might behold in the years to come.

The piece, titled « Tour of the Universe, » utilizes 27,000 square feet of canvas and took six months to install, according to the Challenger Space Center.

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The four-story mural depicts the Earth’s formation from the cosmos in space to the dinosaurs and the first people on Earth, before diving into the future with imaginative bubble-shaped vehicles hovering above the ground.

In August, the space center closed its doors to the public to begin disassembling its exhibits and attractions.

It is in the process of looking for a new home after its building near 83rd Avenue and Lake Pleasant Parkway was sold.

The mural is too large and too delicate to move, said Swaymann, estimating its worth at $500,000.

She hopes the building’s new owners will preserve the mural and keep it accessible to the public.

McCall died in 2010 in Scottsdale. He was 90.

McCall reportedly worked for NASA as a visual historian. He created the logos for space missions, which were turned into patches, and has a mural displayed at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

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