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Wednesday , November 14 2018
Home | Tag Archives: New Mexico Museum of Space History

Tag Archives: New Mexico Museum of Space History

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.

NM Museum of Space History Free Lecture Explores Kubrick’s 2001

Fifty years ago, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey premiered and literally changed the way the world thought of space – and what’s in it.

Did you know there are conspiracy theories about the movie? Did you know that before Stanley Kubrick met Arthur C. Clarke, Kubrick thought Clarke lived in a tree?

On Friday, April 6, join Museum Educator Michael Shinabery as he explores the mystery of the Space Odyssey – during the free Launch Pad Lecture titled 2001: A Space Odyssey That Changed the Way We Think.

A selection of artifacts related to the movie will be on display during the lecture.

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 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 or toll free 1-877-333-6589, visit the website or like their facebook page.

The next Launch Pad Lecture will be on May 4, 2018, and the topic will be Lucky Lindy: The Man Behind the Mystique with Museum Educator Michael Shinabery.

New Mexico Museum of Space History’s “Trinity Site Motocoach Tour” set for April 7

Ticket sales for the April 7th Motorcoach Tour to Trinity Site are soaring and, in response, the New Mexico Museum of Space History has secured a third bus for the event.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised at the response to this April’s tour and it marks the first time we’ve added a third coach,” said Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll. “Our first two coaches filled up within a very short period of time and there are a limited number of seats remaining in the third. I highly encourage anyone wishing to go, to book your seat as soon as soon as possible.” Registration is available on the museum’s website. The deadline for registration is Friday, March 23.

The Museum of Space History hosts a motorcoach tour to the site each April and October as part of a fundraiser for its Foundation.  Each coach will have a local historian on board, giving an in-depth talk on the bomb and its story, 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, there’s a special onboard showing of Trinity: The Atomic Bomb Movie. Once back in Alamogordo, guests will be treated to a guided tour of the Space Museum to wind up the day.

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.

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 $75 per person, or $65 for museum members.

To reserve tickets or for more information, call 575-437-2840 ext. 41132 or visit the website.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History 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.

NASA Chooses Alamogordo to Host NM’s First K-12 Space Station Downlink

Alamogordo students are getting a once in a lifetime opportunity to talk with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) on February 21.

NASA selected the New Mexico Museum of Space History, in conjunction with the Alamogordo School District and the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, to host a downlink from the ISS. The museum was one of 14 organizations nationwide chosen to participate in the program for Expedition 54 as part of the “Year of Education on Station.”

This event marks the first time that a K-12 school in New Mexico has participated in the in-flight downlink program.

NASA’s in-flight education downlinks give students the opportunity to learn first-hand from space explorers what it is like to live and work in space. NASA’s Johnson Space Center Office of Education facilitates the events. Downlinks are designed to enhance student learning, performance and interest in STEM.

“This is a unique opportunity for students in our area and we are very proud that the museum and our local schools are able to lead the way for our state,” said Museum Executive Director Christopher Orwoll. “Talking with astronauts onboard a spacecraft was once reserved for an astronaut on the ground, the Capsule Communicator or CAPCOM.  Now, through NASA’s ISS Downlink program, our students get to ask questions of the crew and see them living and working in space. ”

The Alamogordo Downlink project involves students from Alamogordo High School, Academy del Sol, Chaparral, Mountain View, and Holloman Middle Schools, and the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

There will be a total of six teams, one from each school. Team members were chosen by each school’s principal and science teachers.

“It is so exciting for APS to be the first K-12 school district in the state to be part of this wonderful endeavor. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our students to interact with astronauts onboard the International Space Station – something that we hope inspires them for a lifetime,” said APS Superintendent Adrianne Salas. “We want to thank the Education Department at the New Mexico Museum of Space History for bringing this program to us, especially Dave Dooling and the museum staff,” she added.

During a twenty minute window, spokesmen from each team will take turns asking questions of Astronaut Joe Acaba—a former high school science teacher—Scott Tingle, and Mark Vande Hei.  NASA requires that each Downlink proposal include an education and outreach component to give students background for their questions.

In May of 2017 when submitting his plan to NASA, Museum of Space History Education Director Dave Dooling proposed something a little different – a challenge that would have student teams designing and building a small payload based around the effect of zero G on fluids.

His proposal to NASA was accepted in May and he’s been coordinating with the schools ever since.

“We developed design guidelines for a package about the same size as an experiment drawer on a space station experiment rack,” said Dooling. “We provided base plates built from pegboard and a frame of PVC tubing, and told them to be imaginative with things like water bottles, cameras, even seltzer tablets. And we are providing guidance as the students design and test their payloads.”

Local pilot Mike Haymes has donated his time and aircraft to take the experiments aloft, where Dooling will use free fall as a laboratory to carry out the team experiments. The test flights will take place in late January and early February. The students will analyze the results and present their findings as part of the Downlink event.

The Alamogordo Downlink project will be held at Alamogordo High School’s Tiger Pit on Wednesday, February 21 from 9:00 – 11:00 am. More than 1200 students are expected to assemble at the Pit to watch. Seating there will be reserved for students and teachers. Parents and the general public are invited to the Flickinger Center, 1110 North New York Avenue, to watch the Downlink project live on NASA’s website. A space museum educator will be on hand to talk about the project.

The viewing will be free to parents and the public. Seating will be on a first come, first served basis.

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 the Facebook Page.

Scott D. Tingle was selected by NASA in 2009. Raised in Randolph, Massachusetts, he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Southeastern Massachusetts University, and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Following graduate school, Captain Tingle spent three years with the Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, California, as a member of technical staff in their Propulsion Department; and was commissioned as a naval officer in 1991. He is currently a part of the Expedition 54/55 crew that launched to the International Space Station in December 2017.
Mark T. Vande Hei was selected by NASA in 2009. From Falls Church, Virginia, Vande Hei earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Saint John’s University and a Master of Science in Applied Physics from Stanford University. He was commissioned in the U.S. Army through the ROTC program and served as a combat engineer. In 1999, he became an assistant professor of physics at the United States Military Academy in West Point. He is currently a part of the Expedition 53/54 crew that launched to the International Space Station in September 2017.
Joseph M. Acaba was selected by NASA in 2004. The California native has logged a total of 138 days in space during two missions. In 2009, Acaba flew aboard STS-119 on the Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station to deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and a truss element. During this mission, he conducted two spacewalks. In 2012, Acaba flew aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the space station where he worked as Flight Engineer for the Expedition 31/32. During this mission, the first commercial resupply spacecraft, SpaceX Dragon, arrived at the station. Acaba recently served as Director of Operations Russia in Star City supporting crew training in Soyuz and Russian Segment systems. He is currently a part of the Expedition 53/54 crew that launched to the International Space Station in September 2017.

NM Museum of Space History Features Free Lecture on Shuttle Columbia’s Legacy

Fifteen years ago, the world was rocked when disaster befell the crew of the Space Shuttle Columbia. After 27 missions, the Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry on February 1, 2003, killing all seven crew members.

The entire Shuttle fleet was grounded for more than two years while teams of experts worked to make sure more safety procedures were in place for future flights. To this day, researchers continue to study the Columbia as they strive to understand the actions and reactions of objects and materials subjected to the rigors of space travel.

On Friday, February 2, join Museum Executive Director Christopher Orwoll as he talks about what researchers have discovered and how it impacts the future of space exploration during the free Launch Pad Lecture titled Space Shuttle Columbia: Her Mission Continues.

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 March 2, 2018, and the topic will be We’re Gonna Do What? Bizarre Rescues in Space with Museum Executive Director Christopher Orwoll.

The Launch Pad Lectures are streamed live on Periscope and are available 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 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website or like their facebook page.

NM Museum of Space History to Host ‘Holidays in Space – Rockin’ with Santa’

The New Mexico Museum of Space History says that the holidays aren’t over yet.  As celebrations with family and friends here on Earth are in full swing, it might be nice to think about what our astronauts are doing and how they celebrate.

Who made a Christmas tree out of cans? Who dressed up like an elf? And who actually saw Santa himself flying by? Join Curator Sue Taylor and Assistant Curator Jim Mayberry on Saturday, December 30, 2017 as they regale you, not with carols, but with stories about the astronaut’s holidays in Holidays in Space: Rockin’ with Santa.

This free Warehouse 1402 Behind the Scenes Tour will take place on the first floor of the museum at 9:00 AM.

Christmas 1997, aboard the Mir Space Station. Crewmembers Pavel Vinogradov, David Wolf and Anatoly Solovyev pose with Santa in his Orlan space suit. (Photo credit: NASA)

Artifacts from the collection not on display will be shared from the various missions and International Space Station Expeditions that will be discussed.

Although we tend to think of our astronauts as being far away, they are still in our thoughts as we experience space vicariously through them.

What would it be like to spend the holidays in outer space? Does fruitcake taste the same? How about eggnog? Take the journey and find out.

The Warehouse 1402 Behind the Scenes tour will be Saturday, December 30, on the first floor of the museum at 9:00 am.

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 or ‘like’ their Facebook Page.

NM Museum of Space Warehouse 1402 ‘Behind the Scenes Tour’ for September

Just down the hill from the New Mexico Museum of Space History, set back from the road behind Astronaut Memorial Garden, is a wide metal building. It looks like a warehouse but in reality it is so much more.

Inside are several of the original sleds and part of the original track from the Daisy Track facility that was used at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.

Curator Sue Taylor and Assistant Curator Jim Mayberry on Saturday, September 30, at 9:00 am will co-host a fascinating talk about The Daisy Track: Be Careful, You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out.

Many people who visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History overlook this inconspicuous building, little realizing the history that is contained within. The Daisy Track was an important part of the tests done for the American Manned Space Program from 1955 to 1965.

Also in the building are original parts of the Delta Clipper Experimental prototype launch vehicle that was tested at White Sands Missile Range in the 1990’s.

Photos and objects related to the Daisy Track and Delta Clipper that are not on display will be shared in this talk.

The Warehouse 1402 Behind the Scenes tour will be Saturday, September 30, at the Daisy Track Exhibit building on the grounds of the museum at 9:00 am.

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 or visit the website or like the facebook page.

Directions+Map: 3198 State Rd 2001  Alamogordo, New Mexico, NM 88310

Captain Eli Beeding (USAF) endures a record 82.6-Gs while riding the Daisy Track, May 16, 1956.  In upper right corner, inscription in Capt. Beeding’s hand is to Ed Dittmer, Astrochimps HAM and Enos’s handler, who also worked on the Daisy Track. (Photo courtesy of the NM Museum of Space History archives.)

NM Museum Hosts Solar Eclipse Viewing; Free Eclipse Glasses Now Available

With the Great American Eclipse 2017 just around the corner, plans are being made nationwide to watch this spectacular event.

In New Mexico, totality will reach only about 67% but it will still be a sight to behold, if done safely.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is planning a solar eclipse party beginning at 10:30 on August 21, with eye safe ways for you and your family to view the eclipse.

“This will be a great opportunity for the public to learn about how the Sun influences our lives,” said Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll. “Even though Alamogordo will only experience a partial eclipse, it is still a significant event.”

Beginning Wednesday, August 9, the museum will be offering free safety certified solar eclipse glasses, one per person, at the museum reception desk during regular operating hours. Everyone is encouraged to bring them back on August 21 and enjoy the free activities planned for the solar eclipse.

The museum is offering several activities for eclipse day, including a live feed from NASA of the total solar eclipse coverage along with webcasts from other sources, a workshop to teach you to create your own eye safe pinhole solar eclipse viewer, and Education Director

Dave Dooling will talk about what causes eclipses and how they helped scientists discover the true nature of the Sun. All of these activities are free to the public and will be held on the first floor of the museum beginning at 10:30.

At 11:30, a few minutes before maximum at 11:47:51 a.m., activities will move to the museum patio for observing through a Sunspotter and an H-alpha solar telescope as well as the pinhole viewers and eclipse glasses. In addition, the museum will have free eclipse glasses available while supplies last.

The eclipse glasses were donated by a local Astronomy Group and were provided through a grant by the Sunspot Community and are certified by the Astronomical League. Museum activities will end at 1:30 p.m.

Ancient cultures believed that when a solar eclipse happened, as it will on August 21, it was actually a dragon or demon (possibly a toad or giant bird) attempting to eat the sun. The Chinese and Incas would make lots of noise and commotion during an eclipse to try and frighten the beast away.

The word itself, “eclipse,” is the Greek word for abandonment and to early civilizations it seemed like that was what happened. What today is a very exciting event for astronomers and the public alike, was seen back then as a very bad omen.

Totality for the U.S. starts on the west coast of Oregon at 11:16 a.m. MDT, heads southeast across the Lower 48 southeast, and exits through South Carolina at 2:49 p.m. MDT. In Alamogordo, the partial eclipse starts at 10:23 a,m, reaches maximum at 11:47:51 a.m., and ends at 1:17 p.m.

All activities are free and open to the public.

For more details on what to see and where, visit the NASA interactive eclipse map and always practice safe viewing!

The NASA website says:

It’s common sense not to stare directly at the Sun with your naked eyes or risk damaging your vision, and that advice holds true for a partially eclipsed Sun. But, only with special-purpose solar filters, such as eclipse glasses or a handheld solar viewer, you can safely look directly at the Sun.

NASA recommends that people who plan to view the eclipse should check the safety authenticity of viewing glasses to ensure they meet basic proper safety viewing standards.

Eclipse viewing glasses and handheld solar viewers should meet all the following criteria:

·      Have certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard
·      Have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product
·      Not be used if they are older than three years, or have scratched or wrinkled lenses
·      Not use homemade filters
·      Ordinary sunglasses -even very dark ones-should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers

An alternative method for safe viewing of the partially-eclipsed Sun is with a pinhole projector. With this method, sunlight streams through a small hole – such as a pencil hole in a piece of paper, or even the space between your fingers – onto a makeshift screen, such as a piece of paper or the ground.

It’s important to only watch the screen, not the Sun. Never look at the Sun through the pinhole — it is not safe.

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 like their Facebook Page.

Last Days to See Famous Rocket Sled at New Mexico Museum of Space History

On Wednesday, August 9, the Sonic Wind No. 1 rocket sled, which has long been an icon of the John P. Stapp Air and Space Park at the New Mexico Museum of Space History, will take yet another ride.

This time to Washington D.C. where it is destined to become part of a new exhibit entitled “SPEED” at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM). This famous rocket sled is actually a part of the Smithsonian’s collection and has been on loan to the Museum of Space History since its installation.

“It’s kind of bittersweet to see the Sonic Wind leave,” said Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll. “We’re very excited to know that it will be completely restored by the experts at the Smithsonian and will be highlighted in the National Air and Space Museum’s new exhibit. At the same time, we’re saddened to see this historic artifact that is so closely tied to the Tularosa Basin leave us.” The rocket sled is slated to return to its home in the Tularosa Basin in ten years.

Orwoll went on to say that the museum is working closely with its partners at the High Speed Test Track at Holloman Air Force Base to secure other artifacts to display in the rocket park.

In addition, Orwoll is also coordinating with the Smithsonian in regards to the loan of the Sigma-7 backup capsule for Wally Schirra’s Mercury-Atlas 8 mission. That nine hour flight in 1962 marked the fifth United States manned mission to space and was the longest U.S. manned orbital flight to date, paving the way for the Apollo program later in the decade. The Sigma-7 backup capsule is anticipated to be ready for display at the museum in the near future.

There was great fanfare in 1976 when the International Space Hall of Fame opened its doors. The nearly 90’ golden cube of a building was flanked on the North by the John P. Stapp Air & Space Park featuring several unique artifacts including the Little Joe II rocket, the largest rocket ever to be launch from New Mexico, and the Sonic Wind No. 1 – the rocket sled that Stapp himself rode to become the fastest man alive in 1954.

This historic photo of Dr. Stapp and the Sonic Wind No. 1 was taken just from the special Alamogordo Daily News tabloid honoring the opening of the New Mexico Museum of Space History in 1976. The photo caption read: “Dr. John Paul Stapp, seated, tried out his recently rebuilt rocket sled at the Holloman facility where the refurbishment was done. With Stapp are three of the men responsible for the restoration. They are, from left, Richard Wheat, engineering technician with the Engineering Branch of the 6585th Test Group Test Track Division; Maj. R.G. Wainwright, chief of the Engineering Branch; and Capt. John “Jay” Schuman, project engineer.”

Stapp’s history making ride was his last on Sonic Wind at Holloman’s High Speed Test Track but he did ride the Sonic Wind more time – in the parade commemorating the opening of the museum as the rocket sled was on its way to become one of the first artifacts on display in his namesake outdoor exhibit.

According to a special tabloid printed by the Alamogordo Daily News commemorating the museum’s opening, “At the completion of the rocket sled tests, the Air Force gave the sled to Dr. Stapp as a souvenir. He in turn donated the sled to the Smithsonian Institution, where it stayed until recently. When the Space Hall of Fame came into being, Stapp requested the return of his sled, and the Smithsonian complied.”

According to the article, Stapp made arrangements with the Air Force to have the sled refurbished and, “The Field Maintenance Shops of the Aeronautical Test Division undertook the actual work to be done, in conjunction with the Engineering branch of the 6585th’s Test Track Division….At the end of the repair process, the sled was repainted red, white and black to match its original color scheme.”

The team also built a special stand to carry the sled in the parade and “at the end of the festivities, the sled will be placed on a permanent base outside the Space Hall of Fame. There it will remain as a permanent landmark to the work of Stapp, and the ongoing work of the 6585th.”

Prep-work for the removal of the rocket sled will take place on Tuesday, August 8. A crane will be brought in on Wednesday to lift it off its base and place it onto a trailer for transportation to Washington. Visitors are encouraged to visit the rocket park, which has free entry, and say a fond farewell to Sonic Wind One.