“Where the impossible is made possible” “Testing limits and pushing boundaries since 19_ _”

[Storytelling] [Capital Campaigns] [Fundraising] [Illustration] [Content Writing]
the Mission

Create a unique space bringing together the past, present and future to serve as a strategic pivot point for the following core purposes:

BRIDGE People to People
CONNECT Industry to Talent
SHARE Stories with Context
FACILITATE Organizations to Events

It is necessary to raise support and funding to build this space at Edwards Air Force Base and make these services accessible to all.

This case study tells a story of “What Could Be”. The narrative was heavily influenced by stakeholder conversations, organizational structure within the aerospace industry and a deep curiosity about museums built for the future.

Purpose Plan:
The four core functionalities joined at one strategic central point.

A nobody with a mission to uncover an opportunity with a compelling story about possibilities. This is a retrospective from my time in the aerospace industry.

Aerospace has some substantial barriers to entry. Attracting top talent to the Southern California High Desert does as well.

“Come play in the best sandbox on earth!”

Exploration Point would serve as a centralized navigation hub. It would be a ladder into the industry.

As a neutral facilitator, Exploration Point would provide: educational workshops, maker spaces, classes, events, veterans talks, office spaces for industry organizations (SETP, SFTE, Starbase, etc), a restoration hangar “theatre”, online experiences, team activities, resourcing, etc. The Happy Bottom Riding Club could make a comeback, boasting of indoor/outdoor seating areas with flight line visibility for impromptu air shows.

Flight Test Museum


Development Manager

A foundation that has ties to everyone and loyalty to no one could become the air traffic control of aerospace opportunities.

Sneak Peak!

Interaction with Exploration Point using Augmented Reality onsite or online.

Impact Plan

Three primary stakeholders with ongoing participation and unique context create the larger aerospace landscape. They each bring additional connections and relationships into that network. Exploration Point would have the visibility to identify unrealized opportunities and make introductions.

Physical Plan

Physical plan – growth (asset & exhibit protection):

The physical plan is likely to be done in phases based on capital raise and milestone completion.

Phase 1: Core Exhibit Spaces, Gift Shop

Phase 2: Restaurant, Event Spaces and Restoration Hangar

Phase 3: Foundation & Outreach, Virtual Learning and Satellite Spaces

Each additional phase includes the standard support facilities. Prior to Phase 1 kick off, a teaser facility would be an appropriate addition to the construction schedule which would be used to showcase an exhibit, host events and offer a preview of what’s to come to the general public.

Physical plan – experiential (visual, auditory & kinesthetic learning):

People, assets and stories add the incredibly rich context to flight test and aerospace. Creating different “tours” for visitors to choose from adds diversity and creates an opportunity for a visitor to return several times and have an entirely different tour.

Reference the different diagrammatic flows to demonstrate this concept.

This space would be overflowing with stories both “offline” and “online”. A visitor should be able to come to the space several times and have a completely new experience with each visit. The space stays the same, the route and narrative change or the exhibits change leveraging modular design and building principles. These visits could be fully analogue or offer an AR component for even richer content.

Example Visits:

  • A chronological history of aircraft
  • The men and women of aerospace
  • The Right Stuff
  • Byproducts and inventions of test
  • “___”’s contribution to aerospace (NASA, Boeing, Northrop, etc.)

Other key facility requirements:

  • A viewing area to watch the “daily impromptu airshows”
  • A library with all declassified and support documentation in aerospace, in a physical space as well as maintained online
  • A restoration space with a seating area for the public to watch and potentially speak with the volunteers engaged in the work
  • A space able to host small regular events or be transformed to host premium large events

How to Engage with Exploration Point

The following sketches illustrate critical digital content points for engagement and messaging.

Flight Plan:

Summarize the high level trajectory for the future. This is especially helpful to reference when speaking with prospective donors who want to know where in the roadmap they are joining and what influence opportunities exist.

Through the Years:

The Flight Test Museum and the Flight Test Historical Foundation have an interesting history with one another. Touching on the milestones of history that brought them to where they are in the present explains how the funding relationship works and the roles each play.

Our New Home:

Open strong with an image and vision statement that showcases exactly what you’re selling. Immediately follow it with a call to action offering several ways to get involved. When a number is selected it expands further to show a breakdown of where to funding amount will go for that particular project. Update the raise total to reflect real time needs remaining. To go more granular, each segment can be expanded to show additional information. At this point, if someone chooses to donate with the specific donate button – they are participating on a more personal level and not just adding funds to the overall fund. This personal engagement provides additional follow up opportunities with the donor for the longer term outlook.

Education Feedback Loop and Sustainable Long Term Impact

Positive feedback loops offer some of the most reliable success stories for sustained growth. There are several education programs and styles which can be integrated into an overall educational approach to train people for entry points into aerospace. When people give and take at different times throughout their education it strengthens vision, responsibility and ownership.

Organizational Structure

The foundation would remain a not for profit organization, the funding for the operating team and additional employees would need to be raised separate to any revenue streams created through Exploration Point. Establishing revenue streams and partnerships to keep a stable foundational budgetary layer is key for this organizational structure. By remaining not for profit, it allows the foundation to operate in many vital capacities.


The foundation would be comprised of an operating team and an advisory team. The operating team are employed positions: Director, “xxx”. The advisory team is made up of one representative from each stakeholder company or organization. The operating team would be responsible for the day to day operations and management at Exploration Point. Includes:

  • Education
  • Events and Activities
  • Food & Beverage
  • Knowledge Base (Library)
  • Community Affairs
  • Tours and Docents
  • Communications
  • Online Experience
  • Gift Shop


Each professional entity would be provided with office space. Exploration Point is a neutral ground in aerospace, a way to encourage and remind everyone that, at the end of the day, they are neighbors. Collaboration with Mojave neighbors is critical with touchpoints for smaller companies and organizations to extend the network.

Organizational Structure

Expand Market Fit:

Talent pipelines can be found in unsuspecting places. Where does a fashion designer look if they are interested in making spacesuits? Where does a software engineer look if they want to fix the problems that don’t exist yet? Where does a storyteller look if they want inspire future generations? Where does an architect look if they want to design infrastructure for life off-planet? Where does an entrepreneur look if they want to build out services in an emerging marketplace? They all look to Exploration Point for wayfinding.

Become the Industry Event Coordinator:

Companies and organizations regularly host internal and external events. This is a repeatable activity and therefore a natural service offering and revenue opportunity for Exploration Point to own.

“Aerospace Talks”

Invite guest speakers to share their story which can be attended in person and online. This is a great time to leverage the personal experiences of the worlds first space tourists and to provide a platform for them to share among eager ears. Provide veterans a platform to share and connect with audiences wanting to learn and understand. Stories connect everyone, Exploration Point will facilitate.

Pancho Barnes:

There would be regular veterans meet ups at the Happy Bottom Riding Club. This would encourage swapping stories between one another, sharing with the general public while they are visiting Exploration Point or engaging with active duty members or contractors during lunch or after hours. These are organic interactions that can be facilitated simply by providing a physical space where this activity would be most natural to occur. Impromptu connections can be some of the most impactful and meaningful within the community. Grabbing a bite to eat or drink after work and making a new friend offers a new perspective. Ad Inexplorata is the “secret sauce” out in the high desert, sometimes it needs to be served up regularly so people don’t forget or lose sight of a bigger purpose. If the location is proves difficult to reach, Exploration Point would partner with local area transit to provide transportation services to and from the base to accommodate needs.


Maker spaces and workspaces would be included in the facility with computers, 3D printers, machines, etc. Knowledge transfer between a younger generation that knows their way around a computer and a seasoned professional who can draw prototypes on a napkin in a space where they can collaborate to build new things would just be AWESOME (not everything requires security clearance and NDAs). The space would also be equipped with working tools used over the last century to build aircrafts, parts and vital infrastructure in order to create a space that honors the journey of invention.

Fun Fact:

Training program through Good Will in the AV. This is one example of a siloed program that belongs to part of a network and simply doesn’t have a connection point.

Information Directory Examples:

“How to handle yourself on social media if you want a career that requires you pass a security check” “Different paths you can take to starting or transitioning your career into aerospace” etc…

the Before

Museum Assets

Highlights of the current space

The purpose of this video was to capture the crowded space serving as the Flight Test Museum and compare it to the feel of a larger open space.