On February 20, 1962, John Glenn made history as the first American in orbit—a moment that changed history and reestablished the United States as a major force in the Space Race. Glenn's suit, specially designed and fitted just for him, helped make this achievement possible. The suit was adapted to act as life support, in case the Friendship 7 spacecraft malfunctioned.
The criteria to become an astronaut has evolved over the years, but it’s still one of the toughest jobs to land. 18,000 people applied to be a part of NASA’s most recent astronaut class and only 12 were selected. In this episode, we’ll explore how the right stuff has changed with the times and get a taste of what candidates go through to make the cut.
Today’s launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket, designed and manufactured by Space-X, is what space history curator Tom Lassman describes as “next generation” rocketry, but with roots in the 1960s “Space Age” and technology that helped bring Apollo 11 to the Moon.
The James Webb Space Telescope, an infrared telescope set to launch in 2019, will see beyond what Hubble can show us: the first stars, galaxies, and black holes; comets, asteroids, and satellites; and more throughout our solar system and beyond.
For those involved or interested in human spaceflight, the last week of January is a solemn time of remembrance, as we commemorate Apollo 1 and the Space Shuttle missions Challenger and Columbia. How does our Museum deal with the memory of such tragedies?