Exhibition highlights Penn State in Space

“Feet on the Ground, Head in the Stars: Penn State in Space,” an exhibition from the Penn State University Archives is on display in Robb Hall, the Hintz Alumni Center, January 27 through June 18, 2015.

On July 20, 1969, when astronaut Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and stated, “This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” the imagination of a nation was elevated beyond its wildest limits. At Penn State, creativity, innovation and research were sent spiraling ever upward and onward with space as its goal and vision of an unimaginable future never out of reach. As Penn State anticipates the progress and success of the current Lunar Lion efforts, this exhibition through images and diagrams reflects on the many projects and achievements involving Penn Staters that have changed the face and future of space exploration and research.

The exhibition features Penn State’s outstanding astronauts: Guion Bluford (1st African-American in space), Paul J. Weitz, Robert J. Cenker and James Pawelczyk and their various missions. It also showcases the outstanding and numerous space-related projects in which Penn State has participated since that fateful day in 1969 including the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, Mars Curiosity Rover, numerous Space Shuttle missions and experiments, Swift Telescope, Skylab, pulsars and planet discoveries, Davey Lab and Penn State Behrend observatories to name just a few. The exhibit also features a visual tribute to the current Lunar Lion efforts to revisit the Moon, WPSU space programming, AstroFest events and even a nod to our own Star Trek participant/alum Jonathan Frakes.

The exhibition is structured to whet the imagination and encourage visitors to pursue explorations into the many and various ways Penn State has reached for the stars and enhanced the universe of space, space exploration, space research and space travel—yesterday, today and definitely tomorrow. The exhibition reflects a concept Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium, elucidates, when he said, “I think of space not as the final frontier but as the next frontier. Not as something to be conquered but to be explored.” Clearly Penn State’s visionaries have had the same enthusiasm for space and have illuminated that vision through their various efforts for over fifty years.

For more information or if you anticipate needing accessibility accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Jackie R. Esposito, University Archivist, 814-863-3791 or jxe2@psu.edu.