The rocket has touched down again in the People’s Playground!
The Astroland Rocket Ship — beloved symbol of the bygone amusement park of the same name — re-entered Coney Island’s atmosphere on June 4 after spending six years crashed on the strange planet of Staten Island.
The ship is now being prepped for its next mission as an attraction at Wonder Wheel Park.
“The Rocket has finally landed back home in Coney Island where it belongs,” said Wonder Wheel Park co-owner Steve Vourderis, who will do the extensive repairs and refurbishments to restore the craft in preparation for his funzone’s annual History Day on Aug. 9.
The Rocket was first commissioned as the Star Flyer when Astroland Park opened in 1962. It is the only surviving model of the popular “simulators” of the Space Age, which combined lift-off films and rocking motions to re-create extraterrestrial travel for thrill-seeking riders.
When Astroland shuttered in 2008, park owners Carol and Jerry Albert donated the rocket to the city on behalf of the Coney Island History Project — with the understanding that the city would maintain the craft and restore it to active service as a People’s Playground icon.
But despite numerous vows to fulfill its promise, the city left the ship behind old Navy buildings at the Staten Island Homeport in Stapleton. And when Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, the rocket went under water.
This paper broke the news last year that the Alberts, the Coney Island History Project, and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park would bring the rocket back home from outer orbit — and they marked its return on Wednesday as a historic occasion.
“The Astroland Rocket has now returned to a place of honor beside the landmark Wonder Wheel,” said History Project director Charles Denson.
The rocket will now serve as an exhibit documenting the history of space-themed Coney amusements.
©2014 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.