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New Home for SDASM Insider

May 20, 2010

SDASM Insider has moved to its new home on the newly-designed and updated San Diego Air & Space Museum’s website. To continue following the blog, please head over to

All of the entries from this site have been imported over to the new blog. New posts will only be available on the new blog, there will be no further updates here.

Thanks for following us and checking out our new home.


Highlights of Jim Newman’s Space Day Presentation

May 17, 2010

As I am sure you already know (and just in case you did not), astronaut Jim Newman joined us for our Space Day celebration. Below is a video containing a few highlights from his presentation:

Gene Kranz Back at SDASM

May 13, 2010

Gene Kranz ( who last visited us for the Apollo 8 anniversary) returned to the Museum as a VIP guest for a third-party event this week. Luckily, he took some time to talk and pose with a few of the Museum’s staff. Below is a photo of Gene posing with a some (lovely) museum staff in front of the Apollo 9 spacecraft.

Gene Kranz and Friends

Plus he took some time to sign a few books for some special guests.

Gene Kranz

Space Day 2010

May 12, 2010

This past Saturday (8 May) around 900 people visited the Museum and attended Space Day. Over the course of the day, visitors had a chance to interact with 26 local and national space organizations. Kids learned all about space while putting on moon shoes, touching Moon and Mars meteorites, launching pneumatic rockets, driving Mars rovers, and controlling robots (robots people, ROBOTS!).


The highlight was astronaut Jim Newman’s (my previous post on Newman) presentation. For around an hour he talked about his four missions into space and then spent over an hour and a half signing autographs (he had to leave at 1:00 pm but he stayed until 2:00 pm because he is that nice). Additionally, he added his signature next to Sally Ride’s and Tracey Caldwell’s on our Space Shuttle cockpit.



Now it is time to relax and maybe start thinking about Space Day 2011 (maybe).

Check out more photos or add your own to our Flickr Photo Group.

From Tajikistan to San Diego

May 11, 2010

Once a month, the Museum hosts a special guest speaker for our volunteers. This month, Robert Frimtzis, author of From Tajikistan To The Moon: A Story Of Tragedy, Survival And Triumph Of The Human Spirit, joined us to give us a short version of his harrowing yet inspiring tale and  his engineering career.

His story of escape from the Nazi invasion and then from Soviet oppression was fascinating. He then immigrated to the U.S., penniless with little English, but went on to graduate from college, work on multiple space programs (Apollo Lunar Module simulators, Lunar Surveyor, and GRO), and raise a family of geniuses (3 out of 4 have PhDs).

His soft-spoken presentation kept me engaged as he showed us pictures of his childhood in the Soviet Union and Europe up through his career in the aerospace industry. The best image was of a letter he sent to a family member that had a stamp of approval from the Soviet Union officials because the letter contained no subversive or anti-government writing.

I have yet to read his book, but luckily, the Museum has purchased a copy. I hope it is half as good as his presentation.

You can find out more about Robert Frimtzis and his book by clicking here.

Astronaut James Newman at Space Day

May 7, 2010

Dr. James Newman

While the name Newman might not be the most popular to fans of Seinfeld, to space fans, it is a good one. Astronaut Jim Newman will be attending Space Day tomorrow to give a presentation and sign autographs. I thought it might be useful to provide you with some biographical information.

Dr. Newman was the first spacefarer born in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (now the Federated States of Micronesia), but he considers San Diego to be his hometown. He graduated from La Jolla High School. Go Vikings! (I did not go there, but saying that seemed appropriate)

In 1990, NASA selected him as an astronaut. Three years later, in 1993, Dr. Newman flew as a mission specialist on STS-51 (1993) aboard the Shuttle Discovery. During STS-51 he performed his first spacewalk.

Two years later, he later flew on STS-69 (1995) aboard the Shuttle Endeavour. His second flight on EndeavourSTS-88 (1998), was the first shuttle mission to the International Space Station. During the mission, he and the rest of the crew attached the American module, Unity, to the Russian module, Zarya. Dr. Newman is therefore one of the first people ever to enter the space station.

Dr. Newman performed two spacewalks to help repair the Hubble space telescope during STS-109 in 2002. This mission was the last successful flight of the Shuttle Columbia. On its next flight, the spacecraft and crew were lost.

During his four space flights, Dr. Newman logged in an impressive 43 days in space, which includes a total of 43 hours and 13 minutes over his six spacewalks.

Now that you know his space-life story, make sure to hear him speak around 11 am tomorrow, 8 May, at Space Day.

Special Discount for Museum Members During May

May 3, 2010

Yes, this is a promotion, but if you are a member of the Museum you will enjoy this (if you are not one yet, I think you should consider becoming one).

For the entire month of May, Museum members will receive the following discounted admission to our latest special exhibition The Science of… Aliens:

$5 Adult members for Aliens

$4 Youth members for Aliens

This is an offer that is out of this world! (sorry, I just had to)