Broadcast 2371 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

08 Dec 2014 Chris Orwoll
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Guest: Christopher (Chris) Orwoll. Topics: The New Mexico Museum of Space History, museum displays and artifacts. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed Chris Orwoll, Executive Director of the New Mexico Museum of Space History back to the show. During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Chris first responded to some of my questions about his nuclear submarine service in the U.S. Navy and the similarities with being on a submarine as compared to being in a spaceflight capsule. In fact, our guest told us a story about his meeting with retired astronauts Charlie Duke and Buzz Aldrin in which they asked him lots of questions about submarines and discussed similarities with spaceflight. We then moved on to talk about the New Mexico Museum of Space History located in Alamogordo, New Mexico ( We learned that the museum is an affiliate with the Smithsonian plus it is a state museum. Chris told us the museum was in transition to new exhibits which he discussed along with existing exhibits, events, the Space Hall of Fame, the DCX exhibit and more. I asked Chris how they borrow items from the Smithsonian and he explained in detail the loan system for museums, including the NM Museum of Space History. Listener Harry asked him about museum events such as the event centered around Dr. John Paul Stapp and his rocket sled ride on Sonic Wind 1 which is at the museum. Other events were discussed as were the exhibits for Little Joe II which was the largest rocket ever launched in New Mexico. In the second segment, Chris led off with a discussion of the gravesite of the famous Ham the astrochimp as Ham is buried at the museum. We learned that museum visitors often left interesting things at Ham's grave site including bananas. Also discussed was how best to get to and visit the museum as there is currently no direct air service to Alamogordo. Listener Paul asked how people are chosen for the Hall of Fame. Listen to what Chris said about the process, the selection list, and those doing the selecting. Another listener asked if the museum had any Chinese space artifacts. The answer was no but listen to what Chris said about Chinese space artifacts in general. Other topics included museum outreach and student field trips. I asked Chris about the level of space awareness and knowledge for the students visiting the museum. Listen to what he said about this because it is a problem, not just in New Mexico but across the country. When asked for the most popular parts of the museum for visits, our guest said Ham's gravesite, Sonic Wind 1 and the Moon rock which the museum has in its collection. We also talked about the upcoming unmanned exhibit that will include models of Mars rovers and more. Chris talked about the museum's Clyde Tombaugh and Pluto exhibit, then he was asked if the museum had any exhibits about the Roswell UFO crash. He said no but he did say they had on display the crash dummies used at the time for Air Force experiments. Jay asked Chris about space art in the museum. Given the museum is a glass cube, gallery lighting is a problem for art. Chris did say they were closing off windows from the inside and hoped to display more art in the future. As our program was ending, he was asked about the most common questions asked by students and he said they related to human spaceflight. We talked about science fiction versus reality for student interest, then Chris mentioned the their X-37B Simulator and the Little Joe II rocket display. Please post your comments/questions for our guest on TSS blog above. You can reach Mr. Orwoll through me or the museum website.



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