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Notes on April Oklahoma Space Alliance Event: Celebration of Spaceflight
Oklahoma Space Alliance didn’t have their regular meeting in April. Instead on April 12, we co-sponsored a celebration of spaceflight the Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford, Oklahoma. The occasion was the 53rd anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space which made him the first human to orbit the Earth. It was also the 33rd anniversary of the first flight of Space Shuttle Columbia, the first shuttle to orbit the Earth. And, as it happens, April 11 was the 44th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13, whose accident occurred on April 13.
We toured the museum, after which Stafford Museum Director Max Ary gave a speech on the anniversaries, and Oklahoma Space Alliance President Steve Swift also gave a brief talk on the occasion, then Ary introduced the feature attraction, a showing of the movie Apollo 13. There were well over a hundred people attending the movie showing. I estimated 150, but officially it was about 120.
The museum has a new feature attraction, a full-scale mock-up of an Apollo command module. Ary was formerly director of the Cosmosphere, which he left under unfortunate circumstances. The Cosmosphere’s SpaceWorks team worked on the restoration of the Apollo 13 and Liberty Bell 7 space capsules, and both Jim Lovell and Gene Krantz visited the Apollo 13 capsule when they visited the Cosmosphere. It was the first time Lovell had seen the capsule since it was lifted onto the carrier after splashdown. The reunion was a very emotional experience for Lovell.
Ary was still the director of the Cosmosphere when Ron Howard contacted him about making an accurate movie about the Apollo 13 space flight. All the reconstructions of the Apollo spacecraft were made by SpaceWorks. During the movie, facts about the spaceflight were projected on the side of the command module mock-up.
I counted seven members of Oklahoma Space Alliance attending the celebration, but there may have been some that I missed.
Contact person for Oklahoma Space Alliance is Claire McMurray.
PO Box 1003
Norman, OK 73070
Webmaster is Syd Henderson.
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