The Museum has so many wonderful toys in the collection. Looking through the collection online is a journey filled with memories, delightful surprises and the occasional stuff of nightmares. Toys send strong messages to kids about what they should be interested in and what they can aspire to.
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In July, just after the 43rd anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, I wrote a blog post about the passing of first US woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride. Little did I imagine at the time that a month later I would find myself writing another blog to commemorate the passing of the commander of that mission, Neil Armstrong.
This week we have said goodbye to Dr. Sally K. Ride, the first American woman to make a spaceflight and a passionate promoter of science and engineering education for girls, who passed away on July 23 after a seventeen month battle with pancreatic cancer.
This might sound like the set-up for a joke, but there really is a connection between the museum, NASA’s Apollo 16 mission and the USSR’s Luna 20 lunar sample recovery mission. Forty years ago, in April 1972, Apollo 16 became the fifth human mission to land on the Moon.
On May 20, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity set a new endurance record for operating on the surface of Mars, surpassing the record of six years and 116 days set by NASA’s Viking 1 lander almost 30 years ago.
April was a busy month for milestone anniversaries of space events: so busy in fact that I didn’t have time to write this article and post it until now-on the 49th anniversary of the first US Mercury space mission.
Curators at the Powerhouse not only research information about the artefacts in our own collection, from time to time we assist external colleagues with their object research as well. Satellite propulsion engineer Alan Lawrie, author of histories of the Saturn V and Saturn I rockets, contacted the museum seeking information about the F-1 rocket motor in the Space exhibition.
Photo courtesy of NASA Forty years ago, on July 21, 1969, American astronaut Neil Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 Moon mission, became the first person to set foot on another world. This historic spaceflight marked the culmination of the so-called “Space Race”, one of the major Cold War propaganda battles between the United States and the USSR, which began in 1957, when the Soviet Union shocked the world by launching the first satellite, Sputnik 1.