New Mexico museum of Space History
Yes Gigi, another space museum...you cannot go through New Mexico without exploring a hub of space experimentation and innovation!
This museum is unique in that it showcases the state’s long history of rocket launches, satellites, and simulations that helped make human space flight possible. [White Sands Missile Range - yep we drove through it]
The museum is home to many important space artifacts, including the coveralls worn by the only scientist to walk on the moon, the Daisy Track used at Holloman Air Force Base to test the effects of rapid acceleration and deceleration and the Sonic Wind I rocket sled, aboard which researcher John P. Stapp made history as the Fastest Man on Earth.
The museum’s Basin Overlook, meanwhile, offers visitors a spectacular view of the facilities where many of these experiments took place.
Some other cool things we saw were the Living and Working in Space exhibit - ooh and trying on the space-gear!
...as well as the International Space Hall of Fame, established in 1976 to celebrate the achievements of aeronautic pioneers worldwide, but most recently was the induction of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry into the International Space Hall of Fame.
One of the points of interest that stuck with us during our visit, was the story of HAM. Ham (1956 – January 19, 1983), also known as Ham the Chimp and Ham the Astrochimp, was a chimpanzee and the first hominid launched into space, on January 31 1961, as part of America's space program.
Ham's name is an acronym for the lab which prepared him for his historic mission — the Holloman Aerospace Medical Center, located at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
It’s not always well remembered that two chimpanzees helped paved the way for human spaceflight with tests in the 1960.The space chimps, Ham and Enos. Ham was the first chimp in space and preceded the first American in space, Alan Shepherd. Later, Enos flew before before John Glenn orbited the Earth.
We think these chimps were pretty cool, and honor them as we do the others who took to the stars for our space advancements today!