From the discovery of Pluto to the ongoing mission to bring back samples from an asteroid, Arizona has positioned itself at the center of the universe when it comes to space exploration.
Starting Thursday, the Arizona History Museum in Tucson will launch a new, six-month exhibit dedicated to the state’s role in exploring the cosmos.
“Ready to Launch: Arizona’s Place in Space” features an Apollo-era spacesuit on loan from NASA and covers everything from pioneering space probes and telescopes to capturing the first image of a black hole.
It will run through Nov. 30 at the museum on Second Street, just west of the University of Arizona campus.
Shannon Fleischman, head museum curator for the Arizona Historical Society, designed the exhibit. She said Houston and Florida are the two places most associated with space exploration, but Arizona’s contributions are undeniable — and ongoing.
“Pluto was discovered here. We trained all of the Apollo astronauts. There are just so many things that are overlooked,” Fleischman said.
The exhibit fills two rooms — one dedicated to crewed missions, the other to unmanned space exploration.
Items on display include photos of deep space, detailed maps of other worlds, spaceship replicas and artifacts from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, Arizona State University and the historical society’s own collection.
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