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About the cover


Five join Space Hall of Fame

Disney, Lucas among those to be inducted


On July 4, New Mexico Museum of Space History Executive Director Chris Orwoll announced the names of the International Space Hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2015. The announcement came moments before the City of Alamogordo’s annual Fireworks Extravaganza delighted thousands across the basin with what is being hailed as the “best show in years.”

“It was a privilege to announce the names of such a prestigious class, people whose vision inspired literally generations worldwide. The Inductee Class of 2015 embodies the true spirit of space exploration by a group of men who, although they never went to space themselves, believed in the future and possibilities of exploring the universe,” Orwoll said.

The Inductee Class of 2015

Best known for his work in animation and popular entertainment, Walt Disney created what is today the largest entertainment empire in history. In the mid1950s, he worked with Werner von Braun on several iconic, “science factual,” animated films on science and science fiction subjects, most notably “Man in Space,” “Man and the Moon,” and “Mars and Beyond.” These were designed to be both educational and entertaining, which not only led to millions of people around the world learning about the future of space exploration, but also impacted the development of the United States space program and initiatives. Disney built several futuristic attractions to be included in Tomorrowland at his amusement park, Disneyland. His enduring interest in the future of space exploration was recognized in 1980, when a minor planet, 4017 Disneya, was named in his honor.

Walt Disney and Wernher Von
Braun (Courtesy Wikipedia.org)

On July 22, The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco will open a new exhibition titled “Tomorrowland: Walt’s Vision for Today.” The exhibition showcases Disney as a “technological innovator, science fiction storyteller, and futurologist by spotlighting his vision of Disneyland’s ground-breaking Tomorrowland and its complete and revolutionary 1967 rebuild.” Academy Award-winning director, writer, and producer Brad Bird (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” and “Tomorrowland”) guest-curated the exhibit.

Fritz Lang in 1936.
(Courtesy Brittanica.com)

Fritz Lang was an Austrian-American writer and filmmaker. In 1929, he wrote and directed “Frau im Mond” (Woman in the Moon). The most expensive silent film ever made at the time, it is often called “the first serious science fiction movie.” It told the story of a doomed voyage to the Moon; rocket pioneer Hermann Oberth was an advisor on the film. One of Lang’s creations in “Frau im Mond” was the first use of a 10-second countdown prior to a rocket launch. The use of a multistage rocket in the story influenced the development of rocketry in the real world.

George Lucas and C3PO
(Courtesy Starmap.com)

Best known for the six Star Wars films, screenwriter, director and producer George Lucas has been credited by many as helping to create a renewal of interest in science fiction motion pictures. His movies have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars. This has enabled numerous philanthropic ventures on his part; much of his efforts have cen-tered on encouraging innovation in education, the arts and technology.

The stamp commemorates the centennial of birth the pioneer
French film-maker Georges Méliès, the creator of A Trip to the
, the first ever science-fiction film and the first cinema adaptation
of a Jules Verne’s novel. (Courtesy fineartamerica.com)

French filmmaker Georges Méliès was a pioneer in the early days of cinema. He created what many regard as the first science fiction (silent) film, 1902’s “A Trip to the Moon;” it was loosely based on stories of lunar voyages written by both Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. With a length of fourteen minutes, “A Trip to the Moon” was the longest motion picture ever produced at the time.

George Pal
(Courtesy 4.bp.Blogspot.com)

George Pal was a Hungarian-born American and is remembered as an animator and producer, principally associated with the science fiction genre in the early days of the space program. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences founded the “George Pal Lecture on Fantasy in Film” in 1980. He produced and/or directed the following influential and Academy Award winning films: “Destination Moon,” “When Worlds Collide,” “The War of the Worlds,” “Conquest of Space” and “The Time Machine.”

About Induction 2015


Induction into the International Space Hall of Fame is an honor that has only been bestowed upon 166 people and one team over the past 39 years. This October, the five individuals above will join this distinguished group.

The Induction Ceremony and Founder’s Day Activities will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3. Founder’s Day at the museum begins at 9 a.m. A celebration of the museum’s opening in 1976; this community event has the primary mission of encouraging children to become involved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This is a family-friendly event and the first 500 children (ages 5-15) will build and launch free model rockets. Dozens of exhibitors from across the state will add to the excitement. The Induction Ceremony and Gala Banquet will be held at the Tays Special Events Center on the campus of New Mexico State University — Alamogordo. Tickets for the event will go on sale in mid-July.

The International Space Hall of Fame (ISHF), an integral part of the New Mexico Museum of Space History, is the only institution that recognizes the accomplishments of the men and women worldwide who have contributed to man’s quest for space. Established in 1976, the ISHF follows strict criteria for Inductees and to date has honored 166 individuals and one team.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589 or visit the website at www.nmspacemuseum.org.


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