50 Ways to Space Out

Looking for ways to celebrate a half century of spaceflight? Here’s fifty of ‘em.

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40 MEET GEORGE JETSON, Jane his wife—or at least one of the 500 limited-edition sets of figures depicting Hanna-Barbera’s “The Jetsons”; eight to 11 inches tall, $1,295. Call Gallery Art in Aventura, Florida, at (305) 932-6166 or shop online for product G12051 at onlinegalleryart.com.

41 BID ON SPACE RELICS at astro-auction.com. The collection ranges from astronaut autographs to coins and medallions to items that allegedly have flown in space.

42 VISIT THE KANSAS COSMOSPHERE and Space Center’s Hall of Space Museum and wander through an extensive collection of U.S. space artifacts. The Hall of Space Museum houses the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow. Surf cosmo.org; (800) 397-0330.

43 SAVE YOUR BOXTOPS. Space Series Premium Reproduction Cereal Boxes, ($499 for a set of eight), are digitally reproduced to show the details on the original cereal boxes and include mail-away offers for reproductions of 1950s toys, such as Pep Tom Corbett Space Goggles and Post Raisin Bran Captain Video figures. Ask for item 40159 from ToyTent Antique and Collectible Toys in Idaho, (208) 263-0142, or online at toytent.com/TrueReplica/40159.html.

44 TRACK SPACE DOODADS with the Field Guide to American Spacecraft by NASA’s Jim Gerard, a comprehensive list of space artifacts and their last known whereabouts. Artifacts include an X-15 rocket plane, a Mercury capsule, and the privately developed SpaceShipOne manned launcher—at aesp.nasa.okstate.edu/fieldguide/pages/aaindex/home1.html.

45 SEE THE SPACE DEBRIS inventory compiled by the U.S. Air Force Space Command Space Control Squadron (www.peterson.af.mil), which has been tracking man-made objects circling the Earth since 1968. The inventory of known space debris has grown to 13,400 objects that have diameters greater than four inches. Wikipedia.org lists artificial objects left on the moon, beginning with the Soviets’ unmanned Luna 2 probe, launched in 1959, and extending through SMART-1, launched in 2006. See wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_artificial_objects_on_the_Moon.

46 READ A BOOK featuring stunning photos and essays on space milestones—After Sputnik: 50 Years of the Space Age, edited by National Air and Space Museum curator Martin Collins and published by HarperCollins, harpercollins.com; $35.

47 SEE MOONROCKS Of the 842 pounds (from 2,415 samples) returned by Apollo missions, a number of rocks are viewable at museums around the country. Most are stored in the Lunar Sample Building at the Johnson Space Center and at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, but the public can see others at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, at the Kennedy Space Center, or at the National Air and Space Museum: cosmo.org, nasa.gov/kennedy, and nasm.si.edu, respectively.

48 JOIN IN a space spoof and mourn the passing of Ivan Ivanovich, a Russian Orlan spacesuit stuffed with dirty clothes that was shoved out of the International Space Station on February 3, 2006. Ivan, a.k.a. Suitsat 1 and Mr. Smith, orbited the Earth once every 90 minutes and was supposed to transmit, “This is Suitsat-1, RS0RS,” plus words in French, Japanese, Russian, German, and Spanish, which were to be picked up by ham operators with scanners tuned to 145.990 MHz. The transmissions were to end after two days, but operators continued to hear Ivan’s call for two weeks. His orbit decayed in recent months, leaving him to burn up upon his September 7, 2006 reentry of Earth’s atmosphere. You can check out the former Mir Fan Club, now the ISS Fan Club, at issfanclub.com.

49 DOWNLOAD EARTH at earth.google.com. The program takes images obtained by a variety of satellites, then pastes them together to provide you with close-up images of streets and cities around the world.

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