As soon as we walked to the New Mexico Museum of Space History yard, my husband started mouth-watering seeing all the rockets he recognized from he was little. At the same time, our wannabe astronaut son couldn’t wait to check them out one by one. Obviously the heat from the New Mexico afternoon sun didn’t bother them at all.
Location: at the top of Highway 2001, Alamogordo, NM 88310.
Visited: June 2014.
When you arrive at New Mexico Museum of Space History, that’s where you go first: John P. Stapp Air & Space Park, the outdoor exhibits. This park consists of large space-related artifacts documenting mankind’s exploration of space; some are donated or on loan to the museum by private collectors. For examples, Sonic Wind I rocket sled ridden by Dr. Stapp and Mercury Capsule.
We moved from one rocket to the others, reading all the information provided, and of course sitting on them when permitted. Shortly after we got to Mercury Capsule, my husband and son pretended they’re the astronauts.
New Mexico Museum of Space History
The museum itself is not very big. Once you pay the entrance fee, you will see sign that will guide you to the first exhibit all the way to the last one. They put the exhibits in a way that help you exploring the museum easily. You won’t miss anything. And, there’s no empty space in this museum.
You’ll find out about why this museum located there and go through some of the Museum’s most celebrated objects like the real moon rock, rare replicas of first man-made satellites, Sputnik and Explorer, and the Gargoyle, an early guided missile. Then you’ll get to know how mankind has adapted to the extreme environmental challenges of space travel. Of course you’ll learn about rocket history and the story of remarkable technology of the satellite, too. Last but certainly not least, you’ll discover about space science in New Mexico and who’s who in the International Space Hall of Fame.
When we were there, we went to watch a movie at their IMAX Theater as well. It was in a separate building in their Educational Center. Oh, how I envied the kids whose doing their summer space camp there. They had superb program. If only there’s one like that around Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
After spending 2.5 hours there, I understood why this museum is featured in Lonely Planet’s newest travel book 50 Museums to Blow Your Mind. It’s not only full with space history, but the artifacts they have… it’s hard to believe you will find it in a city with population a little over 30,000. I can only say one thing: go there when you are in the city!
– Open from 10 a.m. -5 p.m. every Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri, and Sat. Noon to 5pm every Sun. Closed every Tue and on Christmas and Thanksgiving.
– Admission: Adult $7.00, Children (4-12) $5.00.
– As of July 1, 2016, New Horizons Dome Theater and Planetarium, formerly Tombaugh Theater, opened to the public. It’s the world’s first theater featuring Spitz SciDome 4k Laser FullDome planetarium system.