In 2010 I had the opportunity to visit the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, USA. The feeling of seeing the Mercury Friendship 7 capsule up close is still alive with its exposed screws and age-oxidized plates.
It was hard to believe that anyone ever had the courage to squeeze in there to reach Earth orbit and make a full circle around the planet in 1962 – months after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made the first space flight in 1961 and the Soviet Union took the lead gave in the space race in the midst of the Cold War. In my eyes, the American astronaut John Glenn’s capsule looked like a giant washing machine.
In a few years, Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin would be the first people to step on the moon – at the exhibition “Space Adventure”, which begins this Thursday, the 26th, in a 2,600 square meter tent organized in groups of 30 people.
In addition to original objects that were brought together in collaboration with the Cosmophere Museum and Space Education Center in the USA, the exhibition also shows 20 replicas, some of them in original size, such as the seven-meter-high Eagle lunar module and that of the Columbia command module that houses the three Apollo 11 astronauts brought back to Earth: Armstrong, Buzz, and Michael Collins who walked but did not walk the moon.
The exhibition has been designed for nine years by Rafael Reisman, who also created the 2012 show “The Elvis Experience” about the singer Elvis Presley. “This is the first and largest exhibition in the world dedicated to the Apollo program,” said Reisman, director of Blast Entertainment.
A small United States flag that astronaut Charles Duke carried in his pocket when he set foot on the moon on the Apollo 16 mission in 1972 is one of Reisman’s favorite pieces. Duke is 86 years old and is one of the three surviving men who walked on the moon. This Thursday, the 26th at 3 p.m., the astronaut will be attending the seminar “Why Into Space?”, Which will be broadcast on Folha’s website.
The boots that Duke wears on his moonwalks can also be seen – it is amazing to see how the moon dust is still stored in the astronaut’s shoes. A frayed part on the right arm of the astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s costume (which inspired the character Buzz Lightyear from the animation “Toy Story”) is also haunting.
The show reveals the Apollo Project’s travels down to the smallest detail, such as the internal heating and cooling system of clothing, the canned or dehydrated foods used by astronauts – from chewing gum to macaroni to cheese and bacon bars – and even schemes to the bare minimums to cover the space, with the right to bactericidal tablets for the feces.
Reisman also highlights the collection of film and photo cameras used by astronauts. Next to the machines there are a number of slides on a light table with all the famous photos from the last century: the footprint of the boot on the lunar floor, the astronaut next to the flag and the photos on which the earth appears covered in clouds (now maybe with space debris?) so that there is no doubt about the planet’s surroundings.
In addition to the relics and replicas, the exhibition offers interactive spaces that should be a hit with children. In one, a rocket launch is projected onto a 360-degree screen. The floor shakes when the drive is activated. In another there is an advertisement of a 3D lunar adventure. The seats move during the session. There is also a room that simulates a command room with an original control desk, as well as the clock used in countdowns.
Large panels show important excerpts from the history of NASA’s programs. The most striking of these is reminiscent of the black scientists Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – their stories were recently portrayed in Theodore Melfi’s film Stars Beyond Time. They had to fight racial segregation and structural machismo in order to be able to work easily. Without her work – and that of other women like Kitty O’Brien Joyner, Pearl Young, and Margaret Hamilton – no man would have set foot on the moon.
NASA’s new program, named after a goddess, Artemis, aims to bring the first woman to the moon in 2024. The next projects are the subject of a complementary exhibition: “Futuro Espacial”, on display at Farol Santander until December 5th, including the Race to Mars, in a new geopolitical competition to explore space – with the multiple meanings that fit the verb explore .
“Mars is not the best place to raise your children,” remembers Elton John in his 1972 song “Rocket Man” in collaboration with Bernie Taupin in the video shown at the beginning of the “Space Adventure” exhibition Scenes from the Apollo missions.
Meanwhile, a plaque left on the lunar floor in 1969 warns: “This is where people from planet earth set foot on the moon for the first time. […] We come in peace for all of humanity. ”A peace that is still unlikely among the people of the earth.