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‘Space Cap’ Has a New Home in the Boise State Student Union Building

By: Anna Webb   Published 10:17 am / July 11, 2018

Steve Swanson's Bronco Space Cap.

Even though the first voyages into outer space took place close to 60 years ago, the mystique of space travel has never really waned. And now, lovers of the extra-terrestrial have a fun new artifact on campus: the Boise State “Space Cap.”

Astronaut Steve Swanson, professor of the practice and distinguished educator in residence, wore the cap during his 2014 mission into orbit as the commander of the International Space Station’s Expedition 40. He put it on during a live uplink-downlink video conference with members of the Space Broncos student organization. Swanson donated the autographed cap to the University Special Collections and Archives.

The cap has a special home in an area designed by Kylene Colette, university interior designer, on the first floor of the Student Union Building. The display will “inspire students to dream of their own possibilities,” said Fonda Portales, university art curator and collections manager.

Space Cap installation in the Student Union Building

Boise State has a rich relationship with NASA and the space industry. Idaho educator and NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan came to campus as a distinguished educator in residence in 2008, less than one year after her mission to the International Space Station aboard the shuttle Endeavor. Swanson became a distinguished educator in residence at Boise State in 2014 after retiring from NASA.  Swanson is a veteran of multiple shuttle expeditions. He has logged nearly 200 hours in space and holds a Ph.D. in computer science.

Photo of NASA astronaut