Ready to Launch: Arizona’s Place in Space Exhibition

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Arizona has long been at the forefront of NASA missions and space exploration. The Arizona Historical Society is celebrating that legacy with an exhibit titled, “Ready to Launch: Arizona’s Place in Space.” We learned more from the museum’s curator, Shannon Fleischman.

Fleischman states that most people don’t know that Arizona played a big role in space exploration. Most individuals are familiar with Florida or Houston, but don’t know that Arizona trained all of the Apollo astronauts, discovered Pluto, and so much more.

Included in the list of Arizona’s space discoveries is the first captured image of a black hole and the Guinness Book of World Records for the most detailed image for an object in near-orbit space.

Fleischman  mentions that the exhibit can be very intriguing for the public that isn’t heavily involved in space life because she is approaching it in the same way that a visitor might approach it with a spark of curiosity about what might be up in the night sky. Fleischman wanted to hit the highlights of Arizona’s importance on space history and give an overview of it all.

With intricate images and information, the exhibit focuses on making it all accessible and easier to understand. “How deep do we go? I mean deep into the black hole with our QR codes and additional resources that we have.”:

The exhibit has the first selfie in space on display as well as some space suits and a hand-drawn moon map. The exhibition is fairly interactive as it has different missions throughout the exhibit that can be accessed through the QR codes.  3D printed moon crater puzzles from ASU are also available outside along with stickers and other activities.

Fleischman mentions that they really wanted to give he institutions recognition because they wanted to give Arizona the highlight it deserved, and the institutions had a big part to do with this.”


Shannon Fleischman, Head Museum Curator, Arizona Historical Society

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