The City of Webster (“Gateway to the Future”) has commissioned sculptor David Adickes to create an 80-foot statue of an Apollo astronaut planting an American flag at I-45 and NASA Parkway. The statue will be the first part of the proposed “Apollo and Beyond Center” to be built on 5 acres of land the city purchased last May.
The planned Apollo Center will be a 20,000 square-foot space-themed attraction that Webster hopes will attract at least 800,000 visitors a year, according to the Houston Chronicle. The Center is meant to educate visitors on the Apollo space program and the area’s NASA history. The non-profit Apollo and Beyond Center has no official ties to nearby NASA or Space Center Houston, although the Webster’s director of economic development told the Chronicle that they support the project.
The astronaut sculpture will be even taller than Adickes’ big Sam Houston sculpture in Huntsville, which stands at 67 feet and has a 10-foot pedestal. The 80-foot astronaut will sit atop a 50-foot pedestal, which will house a small museum. Current plans include an elevator inside the astronaut, which would go to the top of the 130-foot structure and provide a 360-degree view of the area, including views of Galveston and Houston.
The designs for the Center are not yet finalized, but the completion of the statue is expected to take a little more than a year.