The new exhibit in Tucson highlights Arizona’s place in space exploration

Arizona History Museum (Facebook photo / Arizona History Museum)

TUCSON, Arizona (AP) – A new exhibit at the Arizona History Museum in Tucson aims to ensure the state’s place in space history is not forgotten.

“Ready to Go: Arizona’s Place in Space” shows how the Grand Canyon State helped find a path to the stars. It will be on display in the museum west of the University of Arizona campus through November 30th.

Shannon Fleischman, director of museum curator for the Arizona Historical Society, directed the exhibition. She said people mostly think of Houston or Cape Canaveral, Florida when it comes to places in the US that promote space exploration, but Arizona’s place in the history of exploration is undeniable.

“Pluto was discovered here. We all trained Apollo astronauts. There are just so many things that are overlooked, ”Fleischman told the Arizona Daily Star.

The exhibition contains numerous relics such as a spacesuit that Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin borrowed from NASA.

“We didn’t know what suit we were going to get until we opened the box,” Fleischman said. “We were just a little lucky it was Buzz.”

Many of the items come from the University’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Arizona State University, and the Historical Society Collection. It covers key events such as the use of space probes and telescopes to take the first image of a black hole.

It is divided into two rooms. One is dedicated to reporting on occupation missions and the other is unmanned missions.

Mark Kelly, a retired senator astronaut, shared some of his own mementos like a training overalls, flight helmet, and logbooks with his handwritten notes from various shuttle missions.

One of the logs happened to contain a love letter to Kelly from his wife, former MP Gabrielle Giffords. But no one will be able to read it, including museum staff, Fleischman said.

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