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  • Space Artifact of the Month

    Space Artifact of the Month

    March 1, 2021

    Did you know that the Cosmosphere only displays about 7% of its total artifacts from our collection? Every month you're invited behind-the-scenes to learn about unique space artifacts not typically available to the public with our Space Arti-FACT of the Month Mission Log! This exclusive opportunity will take you into the world of the Cosmosphere collection to uncover the rich information, facts and history told through the world’s largest combined collection of U.S. and former Soviet space artifacts.


    March 2021

    Buddy Secondary Life Support System Bag
    Flown, Apollo 15
    COS #2251
    Ownership: Cosmosphere 

    This bag held the Buddy Secondary Life Support System (BSLSS). During the later Apollo missions, astronauts ventured further and further from the Lunar Module (LM).  NASA became concerned that a life support system could fail far away, and an astronaut would not be able to make it back to the safety of the LM. Enter the BSLSS! The BSLSS contained the necessary hardware that would allow an astronaut with a failing life support system to hook into his partner’s life support system and receive the necessary cooling water to get them both back to the LM.  (The Oxygen Purge System on top of the “backpack” provided emergency oxygen.)

    Click here for images.

    Check out the Cosmosphere’s Apollo Gallery to see other lunar exhibits!

     

    February 2021

    Space Shuttle Astronaut Boots, EMU Lower Torso Assembly
    Flown, STS-43, STS-45
    COS #5299 & 5300
    Ownership: Cosmosphere 

    These boots are part of the Extravehicular Mobility Unit suits (EMU) worn by space shuttle astronauts as well as present day astronauts on the space station. The EMU was designed to be reusable and came in multiple sizes to get away from the custom suits of the early manned spaceflight program.

    Click here for images.

    Check out the Cosmosphere’s Astronaut Experience Gallery for more information on the shuttle program. 


    January 2021

    Groucho Marx Disguise
    COS #5123

    Ownership: Cosmosphere

    Thirty-five years ago on January 12, 1986, Kansas Astronaut Dr. Steven Hawley flew on STS-61C…after some clever trickery!  The launch was delayed six times, and after careful consideration Dr. Hawley began to think he was the problem. During the seventh attempted launch and while he was stopped in the White Room (a clean room that astronauts enter before boarding the spacecraft that prevent contaminants such as dirt, dust or stray hair from getting inside the craft), Hawley wore this Groucho Marx disguise (and even covered his nameplate in duct tape) so that the shuttle orbiter would not realize he was on board. The disguise worked and the launch was successful!

    Click here for images.

    Check out the Cosmosphere’s Astronaut Experience Gallery for more information on the shuttle program. 


    December 2020

    Lunar Bible
    Flown, Apollo 14
    COS #2010.010.001

    Ownership: Cosmosphere

    The Apollo 14 astronauts took this microform lunar Bible to the Moon on behalf of the Apollo Prayer League in 1971.  Three hundred Bibles were taken, split between the command module and lunar module. The Cosmosphere’s microform Bible is one of the 100 Bibles carried to the Moon in the lunar module by astronaut Edgar Mitchell on the Apollo 14 mission in February 1971.

    Click here for images.

    Check out the Cosmosphere’s Apollo Gallery to see other lunar exhibits!


    November 2020

    The Fallen Astronaut with plaque
    Replica, not flown
    COS #3689B

    Ownership: Cosmosphere

    Belgian artist Paul van Hoeydonck created this statuette to commemorate the 14 known astronauts and cosmonauts who had died in the pursuit of space exploration by 1971. As the Apollo 15 crew prepared to leave the Moon, they left the simple plaque and small figurine, representing a fallen astronaut.

    The names on the plaque are Charles A. Bassett II, Pavel I. Belyayev, Roger B. Chaffee, Georgi Dobrovolsky, Theodore C. Freeman, Yuri A. Gagarin, Edward G. Givens Jr., Virgil I. Grissom, Vladimir Komarov, Viktor Patsayev, Elliot M. See Jr., Vladislav Volkov, Edward H. White II, and Clifton C. Williams Jr.

    Click here for images.

    Check out the Cosmosphere’s Apollo Gallery to see other lunar exhibits!

     


    October 2020

    Lunar Ejecta and Meteorites (LEAM) Experiment
    Engineering model, not flown
    COS #3086

    Ownership: Cosmosphere

    December 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts deployed the Lunar Ejecta and Meteorites Experiment to study the speed and motion of particles and debris that strike the Moon. Surprisingly, the experiment found that tiny particles, like those from passing comets, strike the Moon and those particles are mostly lunar dust and debris.

    Click here for images.

    Check out the Cosmosphere’s Apollo Gallery to see other lunar experiments on display!


    September 2020

    Handmade Russian Chess Set 
    COS #5364
    Ownership: Cosmosphere

    A handmade Russian chess set celebrating the Russian space program. The chessmen are represented by various spacecraft and satellites, which are listed below. Also note the inlaid Sputnik on the dark squares of the solid wood board.

    Click here for images. 

    Pawn: Sputnik I
    Rook: Proton rockets
    Knight: Vostok spacecraft
    Bishop: Soyuz spacecraft
    Queen: Salyut space station (with two Soyuz spacecraft)
    King: MIR space station (with two Soyuz spacecraft)

    Check out the Cosmosphere’s Mollett Early Spaceflight Gallery to see other Russian space artifacts!

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