Exhibition Statement

STARDUST : Space Travel and Me

_


“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

― Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

 

This online exhibition features my family’s personal collection of original NASA photographs and artifacts from America’s aerospace program in the 1960’s and 70’s. 

Living in Edmonton at the time, our father was involved in the oil and gas business in Alberta, which often took him south to oil fields in Texas. While working with companies in Houston, he developed personal relationships with NASA astronauts - most notably, Eugene Cernan (last man on the moon), Thomas Stafford and John Young -  who were actively engaged in space exploration and flight missions.

Dad’s astronaut friends generously provided him with these original prints, and in addition to photographs, we have one-of-a-kind space flight memorabilia and unique artifacts from that period. 

We were given the insignia patches from the Apollo X and Apollo XII (1969) flight spacesuits, and my brother Marc’s Cub Scout pin was taken into orbit on the manned Gemini 9 mission in 1966. 

“The Houston Space Center is home to NASA's astronaut corps, and is responsible for training astronauts from both the U.S. and its international partners. It has become popularly known for its flight control function, identified as ‘Mission Control’ during the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo–Soyuz, and Space Shuttle program flights.” (Wikipedia)

While the photos have been meticulously stored and now show signs of age, they are nonetheless a significant collection from a momentous, historical period in America’s space exploration program.

The recent release of the film, ‘First Man’, about the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong and his legendary mission to land on the moon, has inspired this exhibition.

  

-Peppa Martin
November 2018