Renaming Dryden FRC to Armstron FRC + Space Leadership Act

The US House of Representatives votes to rename Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base for Neil A. Armstrong and to rename the surrounding Western Aeronautical Test Range after Hugh L. Dryden.

And some members of the House are seeking to change the way NASA is managed: New Version of Space Leadership Act Would Appoint NASA Administrator for Six, Not Ten, Years – SpacePolicyOnline.

NM space museum becomes Smithsonian affiliate, gets Apollo module exhibit

Here’s an announcement from the New Mexico Museum of Space History  in Alamogordo, New Mexico:

New Mexico Museum of Space History First State Museum
to Obtain Smithsonian Affiliation

Apollo Boilerplate Command Module First of Expected New Exhibits

(Alamogordo, New Mexico) – The New Mexico Museum of Space History, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, is the first museum within the state system to become a Smithsonian Affiliate.  An Apollo Boilerplate Command Module, the first artifact to arrive as part of the Smithsonian Affiliations Program, is scheduled to be delivered to the museum at noon on Friday, March 1, 2013 (weather and road conditions permitting). The official announcement will be made on the patio of the museum upon arrival of the boilerplate.

“New Mexico was a pioneer of the United States’ space program,” said Cabinet Secretary Veronica N. Gonzales. “Being chosen as a Smithsonian Affiliate is a significant milestone for a museum and the New Mexico Museum of Space History is privileged to be among those chosen.”

“The arrival of the Apollo Boilerplate represents the first of many new artifacts and exhibits that the Museum will be able to share with its visitors because of our Smithsonian Affiliation,” stated Chris Orwoll, New Mexico Museum of Space History Executive Director.

Affiliate organizations are selected for their record of presenting high quality exhibitions, scholarship, professionalism, and museum educational programs. The New Mexico Museum of Space History will be offering new museum membership packages beginning May 1, 2013, that will include Smithsonian benefits such as a one year subscription to either Smithsonian Magazine or Air & Space Magazine, personalized Smithsonian membership cards, and travel and tour opportunities.  Of the thousands of museums across the country, there are currently only 177 Smithsonian Affiliates representing 41 states, Puerto Rico and Panama.

The Department of Cultural Affairs is New Mexico’s cultural steward and is charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, eight historic monuments, arts, archaeology, historic preservation and library programs, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is the largest state cultural agency in the nation. Together, the facilities, programs and services of the Department support a $3.3 billion cultural industry in New Mexico.


PHOTO CUTLINE: Apollo Boilerplate 1 – Behind this banner is an Apollo Boilerplate Command Module on its way to the New Mexico Museum of Space History from its previous home at the Discovery Center in Ocala, Florida. The boilerplate, which is the first of many exhibits and artifacts expected through the museum’s new affiliation with the Smithsonian, left Florida on Tuesday, February 26, and is expected to arrive at the museum in Alamogordo at noon on Friday, March 1, weather permitting. The public is invited to welcome the module to its new home.

New space video contest announced

The Coalition for Space Exploration announces a new contest:

National video contest asks the public to share “Why Space Matters to the Future”
The Coalition for Space Exploration and NASA Visitor Centers Consortium launch spring break promotion

HOUSTON – Space exploration has challenged, inspired, and improved us for more than half a century. Today, the Coalition for Space Exploration (Coalition), in partnership with the recently-formed NASA Visitor Centers Consortium announced an expansion of the Coalition’s “Why Space Matters to the Future” video contest that encourages U.S. residents to visualize what life will be like in 10, 25, or 50 years if the boundaries of space continue to expand.

Entrants submit a short video capturing their vision of why exploring space matters and how it will benefit future generations. Three winners will receive a VIP trip to one of three NASA’s visitor centers: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama or Space Center Houston in Texas. Winning videos will be shared with the public and national leaders.

“NASA and the space industry are on the threshold of a new era of space exploration and this promotion is a fantastic opportunity for the public to participate,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “We look forward to this contest opening the door for more ways for the public to personally engage in the adventure of space exploration.”

From March 1- Apr. 7, entrants can upload their videos and share them online. Public voting takes place from Apr. 8-14, with number of votes accrued being one criterion used by a panel of judges. Three winners will be announced on April 17.

The Coalition has hosted similar video competitions in recent years, but on a smaller scale.

“It is amazing to take a successful concept to the next level and engage the millions of guests who follow us online and visit NASA’s visitor centers each year,” said George Torres, chairman of the Coalition. “Some people think the U.S. space program is ending, which couldn’t be further from the truth. This contest engages the public during an important time, giving them a powerful voice to our nation’s leaders.”

For more information, contest rules and instructions, go to

About the Coalition for Space Exploration:

The Coalition for Space Exploration is a group of space industry businesses and advocacy groups that collaborates to ensure that the U.S. remains the leader in space, science and technology by reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the public and our nation’s leaders, and building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable strategic direction for space exploration.

About the NASA Visitor Centers Consortium:

The visitor centers all support NASA’s mission and goals of maintaining the integrity of NASA’s memorable past, present and future; increase public interest in math and science careers through educational and mentoring programs as well as promoting the extensive benefits of space exploration.