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This lighted, turning, star-shaped sign was one of two such stars that adorned the top of the much larger entranceway sign on the Surf Avenue entrance to Astroland, a space-themed amusement park founded in Coney Island, Brooklyn in 1962. Dewey Albert and his business partners founded Astroland at the height of the space craze generated in the early 1960s by the successes of United States' human spaceflights, including John Glenn's orbital flight. The park's first amusement was a 71-foot long rocket ride initially called the Cape Canaversal Satellite Jet (although later continually renamed and refreshed during the 46-year life of the park). Mounted on hydraulic lifts, with fixed seats, a movie screen, and a sound system, the 12,000 pound ride took visitors on a simulated trip to the Moon. The Colonel Glenn Sky Ride, quickly renamed the Mercury Capsule Skyride, flew visitors above the park in plastic bubble cars. The star-topped entranceway sign, added in 1963, reflected the space theme of the park -- and evokes the lights and charm of Astroland in its heyday.

After Astroland closed in 2008, owners Carol and Jerome Albert donated the star to the Museum in 2009. The rocket ride was given to the City of New York.

Display Status This object is on display in the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar
Object Details
Country of Origin United States of America Type MEMORABILIA-Popular Culture Dimensions 3-D: 194.3 x 41.8 x 209.6cm, 90.7kg (76 1/2 x 16 7/16 x 82 1/2 in., 200lb.)
Materials Metal, wire, plastic, coating
Inventory Number A20090091000 Credit Line Gift of Jerome and Carol Albert, owners of Astroland Park, in honor of Dewey Albert, founder. Data Source National Air and Space Museum Restrictions & Rights Usage conditions apply
For more information, visit the Smithsonians Terms of Use.