National Air and Space Museum 2015 Annual Report

Spotlight

Outside the Spacecraft Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Spacewalk

<i>Outside the Spacecraft</i>
This dramatic image of an astronaut making a spacewalk greeted visitors to the exhibition, Outside the Spacecraft.

The National Air and Space Museum commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first two spacewalks — one Soviet, one American — with a temporary exhibition, Outside the Spacecraft: 50 Years of Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) in the Museum in Washington, DC.

The exhibition was one of the first designed for both the online and onsite visitor experience simultaneously.

The onsite exhibition told the story of EVA beginning with the first spacewalks in 1965, the first by Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov March 18 and the second by U.S. astronaut Edward White June 3. The story included the spectacular walks on the Moon, servicing the Hubble Space Telescope, and building and maintaining the International Space Station. The exhibition made use of fine art and photography to illustrate the narrative and complement an unparalleled set of flown artifacts.

The exhibition integrated several digital experience elements including label prompts for visitors to engage in dialogue and share images via social media; a visually striking, story-focused website; invitations for people to submit their own artwork inspired by spacewalks; an interactive glove display optimized for visitors using mobile devices onsite and online; and behind-the-scenes videos of conservation work and exhibition processes.

Outside the Spacecraft was open Jan. 8-June 8 and was made possible through the support of NASA, the National Air and Space Society, OMEGA, and United Technologies.