March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This space-themed blanket featuring a central image of NASA astronaut John Glenn entering the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule was used by Mark Dixon on his boyhood bed at his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the mid-1960s. The other space-themed objects pictured on the blanket include Telstar, the communications satellite launched in 1962; the X-15, a NASA-US Air Force experimental rocket plane program that ran from 1959 through 1968; Satellite 'Vanguard,'" the Navy satellite launched in 1958; Space Ship "Dyna-Soar," the Air Force spaceplane project from 1957 through 1963; as well as "Launch Pads and Tracking Stations," "Cosmic Dust Collector," and "US 20 Inch Satellite."
The blanket illustates the space craze of the early 1960s, an outpouring of public enthusiasm generated by the United States' first spaceflight successes. Although Dixon remembered being equally excited by Westerns, he also remembered his parents' interest in exposing him and his brother to the excitement around American space achievements.
Mark E. Dixon donated the blanket to the Museum in the name of his parents and family in 2008.
Gift of The Family of Willis L. and Ruth K. Dixon