Out of more than 100 institutions that applied, Western Spirit (a Smithsonian Affiliate) is proud to be one of the first 10 to host an interactive “Observing With NASA” (OWN) kiosk through the end of August. Visitors to this touch screen kiosk will choose from a range of activities and be introduced to the tools, data, and skills that NASA scientists use to create the images of deep space objects that we know and love. Images can be emailed directly to their devices for further study, artworks and keepsakes, and to appreciate the wonder and beauty of the universe. The launch of the James Webb telescope has created a new enthusiasm for images of the universe. Earth Day reminds us to cherish the small, fragile “blue marble” we inhabit.
While you’re here, visit Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon—extended through November 27th, 2022. The exhibition traces the career of this American painter, including his works as an official NASA artist. On July 16, 1969, Calle (1928-2010) was the only artist present during the pre-launch activities of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, sketching various scenes, including breakfast, suiting up, and the walk-out to the spacecraft. The exhibition features a strong selection of Calle’s sketches and paintings. Among these is The Great Moment—a magnificent oil painting depicting Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon’s surface.
Western Spirit’s “OWN” kiosk is educational and filled with summer fun and activities for the whole family. The first five activities below draw on NASA data. The sixth allows visitors to become amateur astrophotographers and explore the universe with a robotic telescope. Other “out-of-this-world” games and puzzles encourage visitors to create Astro-poetry and make pictures from pixels.