New Mexico Museum of Space History

New Mexico Museum of Space History
New Mexico Museum of Space History.jpg
Established1976
LocationAlamogordo, New Mexico
Coordinates32°55′16″N 105°55′15″W / 32°55′16″N 105°55′15″W / 32.921024; -105.920734
TypeAviation museum
Visitors5,034,369 to date as of July 1, 2013[1]:5
DirectorChristopher Orwoll
CuratorSue Taylor
Websitehttp://www.nmspacemuseum.org
Displays at front entrance: sounding rockets used at Alamogordo and whisper dishes

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a museum and planetarium complex in Alamogordo, New Mexico, dedicated to artifacts and displays related to space flight and the space age. It includes the International Space Hall of Fame. The Museum of Space History highlights the role that New Mexico has had in the U. S. space program, and is one of eight museums administered by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The museum has been accredited by American Alliance of Museums since 1993.[2]:55 The museum is also a Smithsonian Affiliate.[3]

Exhibits

Main building

The museum includes exhibits about the planets of the Solar System, space flight and the primates that were used in early space flight experiments conducted by the United States. The museum holds mock-ups and training units of many important space artifacts such as satellites, the Space Shuttle, and the lunar lander (the originals are still in space or on the moon).

Outlying buildings

The Clyde W. Tombaugh IMAX Theater and Planetarium has a projection dome that doubles as an IMAX screen and as a planetarium. IMAX-format films are screened daily.

The Hubbard Space Science Education Building was dedicated in spring 1991. It holds the museum's library, small archives and curatorial offices.

The Museum Support Center is an offsite warehouse and workshop that prepares items for display.[2]:57–58 [4]

Outdoors

A Little Joe II in the museum's rocket park, viewed from the museum building.

The John P. Stapp Air and Space Park is an outdoor exhibit area holding large artifacts, including the Sonic Wind No. 1 rocket sled ridden by Stapp.

Ham, who in 1961 became the first chimp in space, is buried at the museum in front of the flagpoles.

The Astronaut Memorial Garden was created and dedicated to the memory of the astronauts who died in the Challenger explosion. After the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, the names of Columbia's astronauts were added to the memorial.[2]:52–53

The Daisy Track (named after the Daisy air rifle) was an air-powered sled track used to test safety devices, including the ancestor of the automobile seat belt. The museum rescued the pieces of the Daisy Track in 1986 and reassembled them as an outdoor exhibit in 2004.[2]:57 [5] The Daisy Track exhibit is partly outside and partly inside a building that has some other exhibits. A temporary exhibit about the Delta Clipper Experimental (DC-X)is also housed in this building. [6]