A Spaced Odyssey

As the Denver Museum of Nature & Science looks to the future, employees worry that its original mission has been lost.

Whether people like the institution's direction or not, it's an undeniably exciting time for the museum -- and not just because of Space Odyssey. In October, the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft, which was recovered from the ocean after having been lost for 38 years, will go on display. Next year, the museum will introduce a Jane Goodall exhibit, a Jane Goodall IMAX film and Jane Goodall herself. In May, a new parking garage will make it easier for visitors to see all the new exhibits. The following year, the museum will bring in exhibits on Machu Picchu and Egypt. And in 2005, a touring Lewis and Clark exhibit will stop in Denver.

Clay Sisk
Former facility manager Alan Espenlaub left the museum after 28 years.
James Bludworth
Former facility manager Alan Espenlaub left the museum after 28 years.

"I'm a paleontologist by training, and I look at long periods of time -- usually in the past," says Stucky. "But I can also look ahead to long periods in the future. If I were in the year 2050 looking back on today, I'd see that we've built a new facade and a new parking garage, we've shifted to digital technology, and we've established nature and science as a critical way of understanding the universe. It's always difficult to move through times of change, but the museum is in one of the most exciting times in its history."

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