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Home | Tag Archives: New Mexico Museum of Space History

Tag Archives: New Mexico Museum of Space History

Amy’s Everyday Astronomy: NM Museum of Space History offering Rocketeer Academy in a Box

With the dust still settling at launch pad 39A in Florida, kids across the nation are once again dreaming of careers with NASA and SpaceX. The New Mexico Museum of Space History is here to inspire young minds in a whole new way!

Although they have canceled their very popular Rocketeer Academy on campus summer program for June and July due to the continuing pandemic, they realize that kids need a distraction that’s fun, interesting, and educational while they’re at home. This is why Museum educators and staff have put together just that with this new virtual summer camp – Rocketeer Academy in a Box!

Each virtual camp consists of an hour-long interactive online educator led session Mon-Thurs, with a wrap up online each Friday. Online sessions begin at 10:00 am daily. Parents will be emailed the link where the programs will be hosted.

Each cadet needs a good Internet connection and a computer (or smartphone or tablet) with a microphone and camera. These virtual camps are open to cadets who have completed grades 4–7. Classes are limited to 24 cadets per session, although multiple children in one household can attend and receive a registration discount.

Everything the cadet needs to complete the virtual camp will be shipped to their home, although they will need to provide their own computer (or tablet or smartphone) with a camera and microphone, along with reliable internet.

The registration deadline will be two weeks prior to the start of each camp to provide ample time for shipping. Cost for the camp is $110 per cadet per week, $75 per additional child in the same household.

Museum members receive a discounted rate of $85 per cadet, and $75 per additional child in the same household.

The outline for the virtual camp programs is below:

Junior Pilot Program – June 15-19, July 6-10, July 20-24

Virtual Classes: Mon-Thurs 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Virtual Q&A: Mon – Thurs 11:00 am – 11:30 am

Virtual Show and Tell: Fri 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Spaghetti anyone?: Cadets design and build a spacecraft structure from spaghetti. The one that uses the least material and supports a small weight wins.

Stomp Rockets: Cadets build an air-pressure launcher based on PVC
tubing and 2-liter soda bottle and rocket from paper template; launch and measure altitude. Experiment with variations in designs (builds beyond our initial on-line video).

Homemade Gliders: Cadets build a basic glider and learn how to control it in flight; experiment with variations.

Houston, the Peeps Have Landed: Cadets collaborate on-line in teams, and then each cadet builds his/her own lunar lander and presents tests to class.

Junior Scientist Program – June 22-26, July 13-17, July 27- 31​

​Virtual Classes: Mon-Thurs 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Virtual Q&A Mon – Thurs 11:00 am – 11:30 am

Virtual Show and Tell: Fri 10:00 am – 11:00 am​

Solar spectroscope: Build a simple spectroscope from a cardboard box
and DVD or CD. Observe differences in light from various sources; record on smartphone camera.

Paging Dr. Droid: Cadets perform a telemedicine exercise where they
role-play as surgeon and robot and operate on a “tortilla body” over the Internet. The surgeon cannot touch the body, and the robot cannot think. At the end, you propose ideas for robotic surgery tools.

Fast Chemistry: Cadets learn how chemical reaction rates vary with
temperatures and mixtures, first by mixing seltzer with water, and then by making “elephant toothpaste.”

Gas Laws: Cadets learn the gas laws by various hands-on demos including a garbage bag in a can, an inverted cup full of water, steel wool above a bowl of water, and other materials.​

Registration for the virtual Rocketeer Academy in a Box is available on the museum’s website. For more information, email msh.info@state.nm.us.

Cadets who have already been signed up for the on-campus program will be given the opportunity to transfer to the virtual camp or receive a full refund. Notices to parents will be sent via email.

***

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at lunapoetic@gmail.com, or check out my Facebook Page to submit your questions there.

To view Amy’s previous columns, click here.

NM Museum of Space officials look back on decade of growth, celebrate successes

As the decade of the 20’s launches, officials with the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo are taking a look back at their successes from the past decade.

In 2012, the Museum reached an historic low point in attendance – a decline that started in the late 1980s and grew progressively worse until it reached a low of 74,000 guests. To put that number in perspective, in 1989 the Museum boasted an attendance of more than 204,000 visitors.

Officials say a number of factors played into the dramatic loss, from flagging interest in all things space to the price of gas and the lack of investment in the museum’s infrastructure and exhibits. Staffing hit an all-time low as well, with only half the personnel of the previous decade to operate the museum, theater, collections, restoration and exhibits. And then things began to slowly turn around.

“A new Museum Director came on board in mid-2012, Christopher Orwoll,” officials share. “Infrastructure was his first priority which included a myriad of long overdue projects such as fixing the leaking roofs, sprucing up the inside and outside, replacing HVAC, and even cleaning the museum’s giant golden windows.”

Over the next few years, investment in Museum infrastructure exceeded $4 million from private and government sources, with a majority of those dollars going to local and regional contractors.

Adding to the Museum’s collection was high on Orwoll’s “to do” list, which, although impressive, was no means as comprehensive as he wanted it.

In 2013, the first of many new artifacts arrived – Apollo Command Module Boilerplate BP-1207 which was transported 1,500 miles via semi-truck from its home in Ocala, Florida. The day the boilerplate arrived marked another milestone for the Museum when Orwoll announced that it had been accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliations Program.

The Governor proclaimed March 1 to be “New Mexico Museum of Space History Day”, with free museum admission each March 1 for state residents.

“Since then, a steady stream of artifacts has been pouring into the museum’s Curatorial Department. The National Space Society designated the Museum as its official repository and followed that with boxes after boxes of NSS and space history going back to the 70s,” museum officials shared.

One of the largest, if not the largest, private space collector in the country made the biggest single donation in the Museum’s history – more than $1.2 million worth of space related artifacts from photos and manuals to mission control consoles and space toilet models. That collection is so large that it is still in the process of being acquired.

With the Smithsonian designation, the opportunity to borrow images and artifacts from the Smithsonian and its partners brought a stunning collection of Chrystal Jackson artwork which can be seen on the Museum’s second floor, along with a wide variety of other artifacts both large and small.

Today, the Museum is home to a significant collection of space “pop-art” and has tripled its Russian artifacts, in addition to acquiring space suit mock-ups from the US and Soviet programs – and science fiction movies, with the support of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Along the way, the Governor’s Commission to the Museum and Orwoll developed a five year strategic plan and settled on a revised mission statement that included the word “air” – an opportunity for the Museum to begin collecting and conserving aircraft that fit into two criteria: (1) the aircraft must be of local or regional importance or (2) it must have been used in support of the space program.

In early 2019, the first aircraft arrived at the Museum – a German Panavia Tornado, donated by the German Air Force as they finished their mission at Holloman Air Force Base.

As the decade proceeded, staff at the Museum increased to 24 including a Deputy Director and Outreach Coordinator. Its theater became the first in the world to install a 4k digital projection system, along with installing a brand new dome to replace the original 1980s dome.

The Education Department traveled the state and parts of other states, reaching out to thousands students, hosting the first K-12 International Space Station downlink in the state, and developing innovative education activities like Alien Autopsy.

Educators flew on NASA’s SOFIA 747 Observatory with Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura, were chosen as Solar System Ambassadors, and the Department’s Director Dave Dooling became a regular presenter at the Space Exploration Educators Conference at Space Center Houston. He’s also presented at the Astrobiology Science Conference in Tempe, Arizona

In the meanwhile, Orwoll brought national and international attention to the Museum with appearances on a wide variety of television programs. He has currently been featured in 39 episodes of NASA’s Unexplained Files, 3 episodes of Mysteries at the Museum, and has also appeared in Hardcore Heroes and Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy.

The new decade is bringing new challenges and commitments to the Museum. New landscaping along Highway 2001 and in the parking lots is in process. Plans are in place to install several new interactive exhibits inside the Museum and in the soon to be expanded Tombaugh Education Building.

More artifacts, including another jet, are on the way and an expansion of the Hubbard Space Science Research Building, which houses small artifacts and the research library, is in the works. In the past decade, the Museum’s Curatorial Department has catalogued more than 15,000 books and in excess of 27,000 papers, photos and magazines.

“One of the biggest positive changes at the Museum?  Museum attendance has been steadily climbing at 3-5% each year. When its fiscal year ends on June 30, attendance is projected to top 125,000,” officials added. “If you ask Orwoll, he’ll tell you, it’s all part of the plan.”

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 (or toll free 1-877-333-6589) visit the website, or check out and ‘Like’ the museum’s Facebook page

Museum Offers Preservation Workshop – A Beginner’s Guide

New Mexico Museum of Space History officials announced this week  a new series of free quarterly programs aimed at helping people learn how to preserve and protect their family valuables and heirlooms.

The first Preservation Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, January 25, beginning at 9:00 am on the Museum’s first floor.

The title of the program is A Beginners Guide to the Care and Feeding of Your Collections and will be presented by Museum Curator Sue Taylor.

The introductory workshop will cover a wide variety of topics, including basic tips on how to preserve a personal collection. Learn about preventing mold, the effects of light and why your fingers are your collection’s worst enemy. There will also be an overview of what upcoming workshops will offer.

The Preservation Workshops are free to attend and will be held on the third Saturday of the month beginning in April, when the presentation will be held on Saturday April 18, at 9:00 am. The topic will be How to Properly Display and Preserve Your Photos.

Free coffee and donuts are compliments of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589, visit the website at www.nmspacemuseum.org website or like their Facebook page

Educator Evening planned at Space Museum in Alamogordo on Thursday

An Educator’s Evening is planned at the New Mexico Museum of Space History on Thursday, January 16 beginning at 6:00 pm in the Tombaugh Education Building on the museum’s campus.

Activities for the evening are free to teachers and include a catered taco bar, door prizes, planetarium programs and demonstrations.

“We can never show our appreciation to teachers enough and this is one way we can reach out and say thank you with an evening of free food, refreshments and camaraderie,” said Museum Outreach Coordinator Tony Gondola, event organizer. In 2019, nearly 100 area educators attended the museum’s inaugural event and Gondola anticipates that many this year. “Last year everyone really seemed to enjoy themselves and we want to make sure they all come back again and bring their friends who teach.”

A variety of activities are planned during the evening to showcase what the Museum’s Education Department can offer to help teachers in the classroom. “Our mission is to help educators, whether in their classroom or here on our campus,” said Museum Education Director Dave Dooling.

“We have literally dozens of science programs that we can bring to the table, to complement what the teachers are already doing. From astronomy to planetary science, and biology to physiology, we cover a very wide range of topics designed to work with state and national science standards.”

Special class demonstrations are planned during the course of the evening, along with special planetarium programs in the New Horizons Theater. “One of the really cool things we have that a lot of teachers don’t know about is our portable planetarium,” said Gondola, “and we want to highlight that during the evening. We have a special selection of short programs that we’ll be presenting to show how our portable planetarium can bring astronomy right into the schools.”

According to Gondola, the portable planetarium gives schools the opportunity to reach all their students. “We can bring our planetarium right to the school and even add in classes to enhance the experience even more.”

Educators, including homeschool educators, who would like to attend the free event must register on-line by Tuesday, January 14, because attendance is limited to 100, including guests.

To register, visit the Museum’s website, and look for the Educator Evening button on the right hand side of the page. “We encourage teachers to mark their calendars today and register early,” said Dooling.

The event will be held in the Tombaugh Education Building on Thursday, January 16 beginning at 6:00 pm.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 (or toll free 1-877-333-6589) visit the website or their Facebook page.

Museum hosts free Telescope Workshop for new users

The New Mexico Museum of Space History education department will be holding a free telescope workshop on Saturday, January 4, in the front classroom of the Tombaugh Building beginning at 10:00 am.

The focus of the workshop will be on showing new telescope users the basics of set-up and viewing.

“Buying a telescope as a Christmas gift is a great idea, but teaching your child how to use it is sometimes very challenging,” said Museum Outreach Coordinator Tony Gondola.

“Our goal with this free workshop is to teach parents and aspiring young astronomers tips and techniques that will help them get the most out of this exciting gift that can inspire a lifetime of interest in nature and science.”

Workshop participants should bring their new telescope, along with all of its parts and directions, with them.  Museum educators and local amateur astronomers will be on hand to answer questions and offer advice on how to best assemble and use telescopes.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589, visit their website, or  ‘like’ their Facebook page.

Dear Santa, I Want a Telescope for Christmas!

It’s that holiday time of year again and your aspiring young astronomer is begging for a telescope for Christmas.

No need to panic! It’s a wonderful thing that the spark of curiosity is there. If you nurture that spark with the right purchase choice, it could turn into a life-long hobby or more.

For most of us it’s an on-line trip to the internet, buying the first thing that looks reasonable. That might work out, but an uninformed choice could result in a gift that ends up squashing your child’s budding interest because it’s too complicated or frustrating to use.

Below are a couple of guidelines that will help you make the right choice and encourage your child’s interest in science and the natural world.

Rule number one: Avoid high magnification. A claim of 600X magnification might sound impressive but the truth is, experienced telescope users do a lot of observing at powers under 100X. A magnification of 50x to 75X is enough to show you sights such as Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s moons and a wealth of detail on the moon. For objects such as galaxies, nebulae and star clusters, the lowest possible power is often used. The image will be brighter, the field of view will be larger and the telescope easier to point.

Rule number two: Avoid excessive complication and technology. It might sound great to have an instrument that will automatically show you the wonders of the universe but the truth is, these types of instruments can be complicated and time-consuming to set up and require power for use. They also remove the wonder of learning the night sky on your own. Something  that, once learned, will be a friend for a lifetime. Simple point and look designs will have a low frustration factor with any child figuring out how to use it very quickly. Look for non-powered alt/az or Dobsonian designs.

Rule number three: Aperture rules! The diameter of the element that gathers the light and forms the image, the mirror or lens, is the most important specification a telescope has. In beginner telescopes you’ll see apertures ranging from 2.4″ up to 6″ or 8″. A larger aperture means a brighter and sharper image. You will simply see more no matter what you’re looking at, just be careful about size and weight. For a beginner, an instrument between 4″ and 6″ will be ideal, light and small enough to be easy to set up yet powerful enough to impress.

“Remember, the best telescope is the one that get used…If you keep the above rules in mind, you’ll give your child the key to unlocking an interest in nature and science that will last a lifetime,” Museum officials shared.

“Make sure your new astronomer has the right tools and the New Mexico Museum of Space History will help teach the right ways to use them. Mark your calendar for the Telescope Workshop for new users on Saturday, January 4, beginning at 10:00 am in the Tombaugh Education Center and Theater on the museum’s campus. The workshop is free and instruction will be provided by museum educators.”

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589, visit the website or like the museum’s Facebook page.

Tips courtesy New Mexico Museum of Space History

Author Richard Jurek to Speak at New Mexico Museum of Space History

Although collecting $2 bills seems like something anyone might do, the difference when Richard Jurek does it is that those bills have flown in space and been signed by astronauts.

Jurek, an internationally known collector of space memorabilia and co-author of the best-selling book “Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program” will be at the New Mexico Museum of Space History to present the Launch Pad Lecture on December 6 and the following day will participate in a panel discussion and book signing.

His newest book, “The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA’s Visionary Leader George M. Low” is a tribute to the Austrian immigrant who led the space agency to the Moon in the 60s.

Jurek is scheduled to present the Museum’s monthly Launch Pad Lecture on Friday, December 6 at 9:00 am. His topic will be “The Remarkable Life of George M. Low: The Ultimate Engineer.”

According to Time magazine in 1969, without Low “there would have been no Apollo 8 flight to the moon.”

(George M Low NACA 1958) George Low during his NACA days teaching an orbital mechanics class. (courtesy NASA)

Twelve year old Low immigrated to America in 1938 with his mother and two siblings, escaping Nazi Germany and embarking on a new life that would eventually lead him to become the head of NASA’s Office of Manned Space Flight. Jurek’s new book focuses not only on Low’s amazing engineering and leadership skills (he was frequently referred to as a “dirty-hands” engineer), but also on his personal life.

The next day, Saturday, December 7 at 2:00 pm, Jurek and Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll will pull up their chairs on the Museum’s first floor for an in-depth back and forth discussion about the Apollo era and Low’s importance to it.

Jurek’s new book “The Ultimate Engineer: The Remarkable Life of NASA’s Visionary Leader George M. Low” will be on sale after the talk and there will be a book signing.

According to Publishers Weekly, “The result of Jurek’s extensive research and careful use of detail is a comprehensive portrait of a figure vastly greater in significance than in name recognition.”

The Launch Pad Lecture and the Saturday afternoon talk are both free to attend. Refreshments are courtesy of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation. Both are held on the first floor of the museum.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs.

For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website or Like their Facebook page.

 

NM Museum of Space hosts October lecture – A Lieutenant and a Balloon: How High Did They Go?

When you hear about balloons, the first thing that comes to mind may be the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. But did you know that balloons were also once part of the early space program?

Project Manhigh was established in 1955 at Holloman Air Force Base in southern New Mexico. The program consisted of a series of flights in high-altitude Winzen helium balloons, which tested man’s ability to live and work for long periods of time in a sealed-cabin environment.

Important data on cosmic radiation was gathered during those missions.

The Manhigh flights were a precursor to the Mercury flights of America’s first manned space program. Everyone remembers Colonel Joe Kittinger and Lt. Colonel Dave Simons who flew Manhigh I and II respectively, but what about Lieutenant Clifton McClure of Manhigh III?  Did he break any records? Did he become an astronaut? More importantly, who made the Winzen helium balloons? Who was Vera Winzen?

What did she have to do with the manufacture of these specialized balloons? Join Museum Curator Sue Taylor this Friday at 9 a.m. on the museum’s first floor as she shares with you some rare photos from the museum’s archive and anecdotes about A Lieutenant and a Balloon: How High Did They Go?

The Launch Pad Lecture is free to the public and is held at 9 a.m. on the Museum’s first floor on the first Friday of each month. Coffee and donuts are compliments of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation.

The Launch Pad Lectures are streamed live on Periscope and are also available after the lecture on the museum’s YouTube channel.

The next Launch Pad Lecture will be on November 1st, and the topic will be Best Camping Trip Ever: The Flight of Apollo 12 with Museum Outreach Coordinator Tony Gondola.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at www.nmspacemuseum.org website or ‘like’ their Facebook page

NM Museum of Space History hosting free Public Star Gazing event Sunday

On Sunday evening, June 2, the public is invited to join amateur astronomers attending the Great Southwest Star Party at the New Mexico Museum of Space History for a free public night of star gazing.

Astronomers will share their telescopes and knowledge of the cosmos with all who attend.

Beginning at 6:00 pm that evening, museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll will give a special presentation in the New Horizons Theater. The public is invited to attend, but seating is limited.

After a question and answer session, guests will join the amateur astronomers in the large parking lot just above the theater for an evening of stargazing, weather permitting.

Viewing is expected to begin at approximately 8:30 pm. The site opens to the public at 5:30 pm and closes at 11:00 pm.

Guests should park their vehicles on the upper parking lot, the large parking lot just below the main museum building. Handicapped parking is available in the small lot adjacent to the theater for those who wish to see the presentation.

Visitors are reminded of star party etiquette rules that include not using white lights  (which includes flashlights, cell phones and car interior and exterior lights), don’t touch anyone’s telescope without permission, watch your step (there could be wires on the ground and tripods do take up a bit of space), pets are restricted to service animals, be courteous to others, and most importantly, enjoy yourself.

If your vehicle does not allow you to turn off your headlights while the car is in drive, park away from the main observing area in a manner that will let you leave without disturbing other guests.

Flashlights with red lenses are encouraged.

For more information, visit the museum’s website or facebook page.

Museums Collaborate to Bring Ancient Reptile Fossil Back to Alamogordo

Gordodon, a history changing ancient plant-eating reptile discovered near Alamogordo six years ago, will be making its return home on Friday, March 22, where a welcome reception will be held at the New Mexico Museum of Space History.

The event, which starts at 1p.m. and is free and open to the public, will feature a proclamation from Alamogordo Mayor Richard Boss and a presentation on the discovery and its impact on paleontology by Dr. Spencer Lucas, Paleontology Curator at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science in Albuquerque.

In 2013, a geology student from the University of Oklahoma who was on a class field trip discovered the fossilized partial remains of the 300 million year old reptile near Alamogordo.

The advanced structure of the reptile’s skull, jaws and teeth was the clue that Dr. Lucas and his collaborators used to determine that the fossil represented a new genus and species that would rewrite the way paleontologists understand the early history of reptilian herbivory.

The exquisitely preserved fossil, which was unfortunately not complete, was taken to the Museum of Natural History where it was carefully prepared and researched.

The groundbreaking announcement confirming that Gordodon’s (officially Gordodon kraineri) eating habits pushed back the understanding of the evolution of such specialized herbivory by about 100 million years, was made in November 2018.

The Museum of Space History collaborated with the Museum of Natural History & Science to bring Gordodon back to Alamogordo as part of a limited exhibit.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840, toll free 1-877-333-6589, visit their website or ‘Like’ their Facebook page

Museum’s Trinity Site Tour Now Taking Reservations

On the first Saturday in April and October, the New Mexico Museum of Space History hosts a guided motorcoach tour to Trinity Site, where the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945.

This April, a new activity has been added the evening before to enhance the experience – a reception on the first floor of the museum with a special presentation by Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll.

Early check-in for pre-registered reception guests begins at 5:30 pm in the lobby of the museum on Friday, April 5, just prior to the reception.

During the reception, guests will enjoy southwest hors d’ouevres and refreshments, followed by a presentation focusing on the fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo program. “As an added feature, we’ll also bring out several fascinating Apollo-era artifacts from our archives that people rarely have the opportunity to see,” said Orwoll.

Saturday morning, everyone meets in the upper parking lot of the museum at 6:00 am to board the coaches and take the trip to Trinity Site. Local historians accompany guests on the coach, giving an in-depth talk about the bomb and its history, along with unique insight into local history. Once on site, guests enjoy a brown bag lunch, visit to the McDonald House and go on a walking tour of Trinity Site.

On the way back, guests wind down with an onboard movie and upon return to the museum are treated to a guided tour.

Trinity Site is open to the public twice each year, on the first Saturday in April and again on the first Saturday in October. White Sands Missile Range hosts the annual events because this national historic site is on the north end of the normally highly restricted range. Special interpretation at the site is provided by Missile Range staff.

All visitors must have government issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license or passport.

The roughly 140 mile round trip from Alamogordo to Trinity Site crosses through a large area of White Sands Missile Range. There are no facilities and no stopping along the route once the caravan has left Tularosa, although the museum’s motor coach does have onboard restrooms. Photography is not permitted on White Sands Missile Range, except at Trinity Site and the McDonald House.

Limited advance tickets are on sale now through the museum’s marketing department or online, and include the round trip to Trinity Site, guided tour, brownbag lunch, and guided tour of the museum,. The ticket price is $80 per person, or $70 for museum members.

In addition, the collectible book “Trinity Site: The History of an Atomic Bomb Historic Landmark” by local historian Jim Eckles is available for purchase when guests register online, or the book can be purchased separately at the museum gift shop. To reserve your tickets or for more information, call 575-437-2840 ext. 41132 or visit nmspacemuseum.org.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website or like their facebook page.

NM Museum of Space Announces Acquisition of German Tornado Aircraft

On Wednesday, officials with the New Mexico Museum of Space History announced the acquisition of a German Air Force Tornado fighter jet.

“We are thrilled to accept this aircraft on behalf of the German Air Force,” said Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll. “It will serve as a constant reminder of the many years our German friends were a part of our community. We will certainly miss them, but we’re very glad to have this as a symbol of their continuing friendship.”

It will become one of three of the Panavia Tornados on display to the public in the United States. The other two are on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, and at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson.

The twin engine, variable-sweep wing combat aircraft has been on display in front of the German Air Force Headquarters at Holloman Air Force Base for the last several years. The vehicle’s tail is painted in New Mexico colors, with a roadrunner and partial Zia symbol prominently featured.

The aircraft is slated for permanent display on the grounds of the museum; however it will have to be moved from its current location inside a hangar at Holloman Air Force Base first. Johnny Powell, new Executive Director of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation, is spearheading that move. Desert Sun Motors is the lead sponsor for the move.

“At a little over 56’ long and nearly 20’ high at the tail, the move of the Tornado does present a few logistical challenges,” said Powell.  The move is planned for January 12, when the first leg of its journey will take the aircraft from Holloman to the Otero County Fairgrounds.

“We’ve had incredible support from the GAF and Holloman, along with city, state, and county entities as we’ve been planning this move,” said Powell. In addition, many local businesses have come on board to help with the move.

The ISHF Foundation and Museum of Space History are planning a public event at the Fairgrounds on January 13 for the official hand-over of the aircraft.

Details will be announced in the very near future, but Powell said there will be opportunities for the public to have photos taken with the plane. He added that museum members will enjoy special benefits at the event, including the chance to get much closer to the plane for photos.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at website or ‘Like’ their Facebook page.

NM Museum of Space History Hosts Moon Over the Museum Saturday

Once a year, everyone on Earth is invited to join together and learn about our planets nearest neighbor, the Moon.

This year, the New Mexico Museum of Space History, in conjunction with NASA’s International Observe the Moon Night, will be hosting Moon Over the Museum on Saturday, October 20.

This free event starts at 6:30 PM inside the New Horizons Theater with the short film “Moon Bloopers,” a compilation of astronaut antics on the Moon.  At 7:00 PM, everyone is invited to join museum educators and local amateur astronomers in the parking lot just above the New Horizons Theater where several telescopes will be set up.

In addition to viewing the Moon, which will be in its gibbous (three quarter full) phase, several planets should be visible including Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and possibly Mercury. The event is weather permitting.

Parking for the event will be in the large parking lot just beneath the main museum building. Handicapped parking will be available immediately around the New Horizons building.

Visitors are reminded that white light such as flashlights, cell phones, etc. are prohibited in the viewing area. Red lights or flashlights with clear red covers over the lenses are recommended.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit their website or their Facebook page

NM Museum of Space History Free Lecture – Live From Outer Space: The Flight of Apollo 7

Each Apollo mission had specific objectives, and those for Apollo 7 were critical to the success of the lunar landing program. There were several firsts accomplished, not only by the spacecraft but by the crew as well.

Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll on Friday, October 5 for the free Launch Pad Lecture “Live From Outer Space: The Flight of Apollo 7” at 9:00 a.m. on the first floor of the museum.

The Launch Pad Lecture is free to the public and is held at 9 a.m. on the Museum’s first floor on the first Friday of each month. Coffee and donuts are compliments of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation.

The next Launch Pad Lecture will be on November 2, 2018, and the topic will be From the Earth to the Moon: Science Fiction to Science Fact with Museum Education Specialist Michael Shinabery.

The Launch Pad Lectures are streamed live on Periscope and are available after the lecture on the museum’s YouTube channel.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 (toll free 1-877-333-6589) or visit the website at website or ‘like’ their  Facebook page.

NM Museum of Space History To Host ‘Taking the Plunge: The Galileo Mission’ on Friday

Before it took a fiery dive into Jupiter’s atmosphere, the Galileo spacecraft sent back pictures and data that rewrote our understanding of the largest planet in the solar system and its gaggle of moons (including a few that might harbor life).

On Friday, September 7, Museum Education Director Dave Dooling will host the monthly Launch Pad Lecture, as he looks at how we have explored the biggest of the Gas Giants, and shares a peek at what’s next.

The Launch Pad Lecture is free to the public and is held at 9 a.m. on the Museum’s first floor on the first Friday of each month. Coffee and donuts are compliments of the International Space Hall of Fame Foundation.

The Launch Pad Lectures are streamed live on Periscope and are available after the lecture on the museum’s YouTube channel.

The next Launch Pad Lecture will be on October 5, 2018, and the topic will be Live from Outer Space: The Flight of Apollo 7 with Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll.

For more information, call 575-437-2840 (toll free 1-877-333-6589) visit the website  or like their Facebook Page.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs.

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