The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration

New Perspectives
on Invention and Innovation

Moving Beyond Earth:
Innovations in Space

November 18-19, 2011
at the National Air and Space Museum


Aldrin on MoonFamily Day Activities

As we mark the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight, come explore the role of invention and technology in space exploration and space history.  Meet a real astronaut and enjoy an array of hands-on demonstrations and family-oriented educational activities occurring throughout the Museum. Activities will take place throughout the National Air and Space Museum. For a detailed floorplan, click here.

ALL-DAY ACTIVITIES (10:00 am - 3:00 pm)

South Lobby (Gallery 108)

Build a Mars Base - Using recyclable materials, tape, and a whole lot of imagination, work with other visitors to create a prototype or model of a Mars base!  Learn about the special conditions on Mars and what astronauts will need to live and work there.

LEGO® Spacecrafts – The Washington Metro Area LEGO Users Group (WAMALUG) presents spacecraft—both real and fantasy—built from LEGO bricks.  Check out these cool creations or build your own in the “brick pit.”

Space Race (Gallery 114)

Flying Gyros – Inventor and engineer Charles Stark "Doc" Draper developed the inertial guidance system which used gyroscopes and accelerometers.  This system was used to guide the Apollo moon landing in 1969. Learn about Doc Draper and experiment with a variety of gyroscopes to learn more about how they work.  Then, make your own flying gyroscope to take home.

Vertical Wind Tunnel – Using simple household materials, create your own "spacecraft" to test in the vertical wind tunnel.  By making observations about how your creation behaves in the air tube, you can modify and continue to test your design until you create your ideal spacecraft.

Zero-G Hydroponic Gardens –Learn about hydroponic gardening and experiments that have been done in space to grow food without soil!  Then make your own hydroponic garden to take home.

How Spacesuits Are Made – Visit with staff from ILC Dover, a company that makes spacesuits.  See how spacesuits and space inflatables are made, get your hands on spacesuit fabric, and then sketch your idea for the spacesuit of the future.


Story Time
11:00am and 1:30pm
Exploring the Planets exhibition (Gallery 207)
Join museum staff to hear a story about space and participate in a fun hands-on activity.

Astronaut Presentation
11:00am and 1:00pm
Space Race (Gallery 114)
Listen as former NASA astronaut Pam Melroy (Colonel, USAF ret.) speaks about what it’s like to live and work in space and what the future of space travel holds.

Moving Beyond Earth: Innovations in Space is presented by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation in collaboration with the National Air and Space Museum’s Division of Space History.

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