50 Ways to Space Out
Looking for ways to celebrate a half century of spaceflight? Here's fifty of 'em.
- By Roger Mola
- Air & Space magazine, July 2007
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8 CHALLENGE MYTHS about space travel, or invent some of your own, by downloading Jim Gerard’s presentation, We Really Did Land on the Moon: Urban Legends of the Space Age. Send questions and comments to Gerard at firstname.lastname@example.org for posting on his online forum.
9 STAR TREK FANS, there’s more than one way to celebrate Sputnik’s birthday. Pose with these Star Trek Enterprise wax figures when they tour a Trekkie convention in your galaxy. Chris Liebl and Lori Greenthal snatched them up at an auction for $34,000 in March 2006. “The Crew,” from the former Movieland Wax Museum, is traveling while the partners raise funds for a permanent home. See enterprisewax.com for tour dates.
10 ENJOY THE MUSIC, dialog, and odd sound bites chosen to wake up astronauts from Gemini to the International Space Station. The playlist includes classic rock, country, jazz, international folk songs, children’s chorus, television themes, and commercial jingles. Download the 62-page list, which reveals the personalities and anecdotes behind the selections, at history.nasa.gov/wakeup%20calls.pdf.
11 METEOR MUSEUMS exhibit what space is tossing back at us after 50 years of exploration. Read up on the subject in the online Meteorite Times at International Meteorite Collectors Association. Visit the Institute of Meteoritics Museum, with its 1,600-pound Navajo iron specimen, at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, (505) 277-1644; the Oscar Monnig Meteorite Gallery at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, R.A. Langheinrich Museum of Meteorites in Ilion, New York, (315) 894-0513 or nyrockman.com.
12 ATTEND A SPACE SCHOLARS PROGRAM at the Air Force Research Laboratory. To become a Space Scholar, you must be pursuing an undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral degree in science or engineering. Get your application at www.vs.afrl.af.mil/SpaceScholars. New this year are courses in Nano Space Weather Sensors, as well as Snap-Fit Composites (fabricating space structures by hand or by robot).
13 WITH ROCKET STATIONERY, send a friend a card printed on the “Astronaut Invitation and Thank You” set from Countdown Creations. A box of 10 six- by-nine-inch cards costs $12.95. Choose from dozens of space-theme party supplies, favors, space candies, snacks, and silly space hats. Shop for party favors online at countdowncreations.com or call (800) 388-3079.
14 LEARN TO SPEAK KLINGON with a free download for your Palm: the Mini Klingon Alphabet, from freewarepalm.com. Flip through the paperback Klingon Dictionary for $12.95 from Simon & Schuster, or read The Klingon Way: A Warrior’s Guide, available from Amazon.
15 50 YEARS OF SPACE HARDWARE are documented in 320 full color pages in Space 50 by Piers Bizony. Learn about rocket exploration—past, present and future; pick up a copy for $40 from HarperCollins.