March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This lapel pin representing 25-year membership in the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) is a souvenir acquired on Magellan T. Bear's around-the-world flight in 1993. The teddy bear flew around the world and made other journeys as an elementary school educational project organized to stimulate interest in geography, science, and social studies.
Magellan T. Bear became the first official teddy bear in space, flying as the "education specialist" aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-63 mission in February 1995. Students and faculty of Elk Creek Elementary School in Pine, Colorado worked with NASA and Spacehab to have the teddy bear certified for spaceflight. The school also arranged for the bear to fly around the world, visit the South Pole, fly on United Airlines' first Boeing 777 flight, and attend U.S. Space Camp.
Presented to the National Air and Space Museum in May 1998 by librarian Penny Wiedeke and principal Jerry Williams, Magellan T. Bear is on display in the "How Things Fly" gallery.
Gift of Penny Wiedeke and Jerry Williams.