Vintage Space Art Christmas Cards at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum

Card 1 Missile Land Florida.

Card 1 Missile Land Florida.

Card 2 Cape Canaveral

Card 2 Cape Canaveral

Card 3 Kennedy Space Center

Card 3 Kennedy Space Center

Don Mackey Newspaper Biography

Don Mackey Newspaper Biography

Card 4 Atlas Santa Claus

Card 4 Atlas Santa Claus

Card 5 Peace

Card 5 Peace

Card 6 Shuttle Launch

Card 6 Shuttle Launch

These vintage space art Christmas cards are currently on display at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum at Cape Canaveral, Florida.  They are part of the personal collection of the museum’s Director, Emily Perry.  I have always enjoyed the whimsical space art of Don Mackey from the 1960s and 1970s.    Look closely for details in his work that will make you smile.

Card #1 Missile Land Florida by Don Mackey features Santa on a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer (including Rudolph).  The reindeer are wearing space helmets and have air canisters on their backs.  There is an alien in Santa’s sack, and two more aliens on the back of the sleigh.  Banners say “Merry Christmas from Missile Land Florida” and “Happy New Year Moon”.  Two astronauts are waving from orbit.

Card #2 Cape Canaveral by Don Mackey shows a Moon station receiving Christmas carols from Earth with the banner “Merry Christmas from Cape Canaveral”.  Outside the glass window, a whimsical alien family sings carols, while the youngest alien makes funny faces.  An astronaut points toward Earth while standing next to mountains on the Moon.

Card #3 Kennedy Space Center by Don Mackey is a simple black and white drawing of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at Kennedy Space Center with a Christmas tree in the center, and a banner that says “Merry Christmas from Kennedy Space Center, Florida”. 

A newspaper article from Florida Today dated 12/11/08 gives a brief biography of artist Don Mackey (click on the picture to read details).

Card #4 Atlas Santa Claus shows an old photograph of an Atlas rocket decorated like Santa Claus for Christmas, with the description:  “An Air Force Museum tradition for the Christmas Season, the Atlas Santa Claus.  Once a weapon for defense of the U.S., the Atlas Missile now serves mankind in an entirely different role, the peaceful exploration of space.”  I am guessing that this picture was taken in the 1970s at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

Card #5 Peace features a drawing of the moon and an American flag with the Earth and star in the distance, with the caption “We came in peace for all mankind”. 

Card #6 Shuttle Launch by artist Bernard P. shows Santa on a sleigh with his reindeer watching a space shuttle launch from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. 

Cards #1-3 are now in our personal collection; they were purchased on eBay.  More information about the Air Force Space and Missile Museum is at:  http://www.afspacemuseum.org/

A previous post with more Christmas cards by space artist Don Mackey is at:  https://naturetime.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/vintage-space-art-christmas-cards/

An article about Don Mackey is at:  http://www.harborcityanalog.com/single-post/2016/12/21/Don-Mackey

Florida: New Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit – Living and Working in Space

Simulated Crawl-Through Module for Space Walk

Simulated Crawl-Through Module for Space Walk

Space Walk Tools

Space Walk Tools

Sleeping in Space Sign

Sleeping in Space Sign

Astronaut Sleeping Compartment

Astronaut Sleeping Compartment

Astronaut Space Toilet

Astronaut Space Toilet

Astronaut Space Toilet Instructions

Astronaut Space Toilet Instructions

Astronaut Kitchen

Astronaut Kitchen

At the new Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit at Kennedy Space Center, a sign says that:

“Astronauts are some of the most skilled, educated, and highest achieving people in the world.  To live in space they have to go back to nursery school.  They have to relearn how to move across a room, how to use a spoon, and how to sit on a toilet.” 

Outside in space, astronauts must learn how to work with tools while wearing a 280-pound space suit.  Inside, astronauts must learn how to live without gravity.

At bedtime, astronauts head to their own personal sleeping compartment and climb into a sleeping bag. The bag must be securely attached to any wall (there is no “up” or “down” in space). Ventilation is extremely important – without it a suffocating cloud of exhaled CO2 air would form around an astronaut’s head!  Astronauts often report seeing bright flashes of light when they are falling sleep. The flashes are bursts of space radiation that the brain “sees” as a flash.

Using the space toilet poses its own challenges for astronauts.  Aim is learned by using cameras during training on Earth.  Don’t forget to strap yourself in!  A sign details the effort required by astronauts to perform this simple task.  This exhibit is very popular –people line up to have their picture taken on the toilet!

Another exhibit shows the astronauts’ kitchen.  Every meal and calorie is planned on Earth months in advance.  Extra calcium is provided to combat bone loss.  Most meals are freeze-dried, and astronauts can’t satisfy a craving by baking cookies or going out for a pizza!  NASA is currently studying the use of 3D printers to create food (http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/home/feature_3d_food.html).  Sounds like the Star Trek replicator to me!

Living in space poses many unique challenges to astronauts, both physical and mental.  Dr. Monsi Roman said that:  “I think working and living on the space station taught us a lot of things.  How much we can miss looking at green trees, having the smells of the ocean.”  It goes without saying that astronauts miss the touch of a loved one.

Space exploration benefits all of us.  An interactive site showing space technology spinoffs in our daily lives is at:  https://nasa.tumblr.com/post/130833181554/10-out-of-this-world-nasa-spinoff-technologies

Florida: New Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit – Simulators

Docking Station Simulator

Docking Station Simulator

Space Shuttle Landing Simulator:  Lining up the Runway

Space Shuttle Landing Simulator: Lining up the Runway

Space Shuttle Landing Simulator:  Touchdown on the Runway

Space Shuttle Landing Simulator: Touchdown on the Runway

Space Shuttle Landing Simulator:  Score

Space Shuttle Landing Simulator: Score

At the new Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit at Kennedy Space Center, there is an entire room full of different simulators to try out your skills at flying and working in space. I tried landing the shuttle in Florida. It was much harder to line up the shuttle with the landing strip than I thought. However, no matter how badly you do, the simulator auto-corrects your mistakes and you get a great score!

Space Shuttle Atlantis, Enterprise, and Discovery Exhibits

Entrance to Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit

Entrance to Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit

NASA's Space Shuttle Fleet Sign

NASA’s Space Shuttle Fleet Sign

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Front View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Front View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Back View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Back View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Underside View

Space Shuttle Atlantis: Underside View

Full Scale Model of Hubble Space Telescope

Full Scale Model of Hubble Space Telescope

Real "Beanie Cap" that Topped Orange External Fuel Tank on Launch Pad

Real “Beanie Cap” that Topped Orange External Fuel Tank on Launch Pad

Fountain at Entrance to Kennedy Space Center

Fountain at Entrance to Kennedy Space Center

The new Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at Kennedy Space Center is awesome!  The multimillion dollar exhibit turns KSC into a must-see destination near Orlando, Florida.  At the exhibit’s entrance, visitors pass underneath a towering 186-foot-tall stack of twin rocket boosters and orange fuel tank.  Once inside, visitors experience a breathtaking unveiling of the Space Shuttle Atlantis.  The shuttle is displayed tilted on her side with the robotic arm extended as if she is flying in space.  Nearby is a replica of the Hubble Space Telescope (famously repaired by Atlantis in 2009).  Atlantis flew 33 missions and over 126 million miles.  Astronaut Rex Walheim called the shuttle “the most graceful, beautiful vehicle we’ve ever had to fly in space”.   The new 5-story building housing Atlantis is full of interactive displays and exhibits.  KSC is the best destination for space tourism in the country – it inspires both adults and children alike.  More info on KSC is at:  http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/   My previous post about Atlantis’ journey to her present location is at:    https://naturetime.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/florida-close-up-view-of-the-space-shuttle-atlantis/ 

UPDATE:  Since this post was initially written, we’ve seen two other NASA space shuttles on exhibit.  Space Shuttle Enterprise is on display at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum in New York City.  When this space shuttle prototype debuted in 1976, a grass roots effort led by Star Trek fans led to its name “Enterprise”.  Enterprise never flew in space – it was used for initial gliding tests only.  Space Shuttle Discovery is on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Annex at Washington Dulles International Airport.  Discovery flew 39 missions – more than any other spacecraft in history.  Space shuttles Enterprise and Discovery met nose-to-nose during a museum transfer ceremony at Dulles Airport on April 19, 2012.  The ceremony celebrated the preservation and display of these great icons of America’s space program. 

Space Shuttle Enterprise

Space Shuttle Enterprise

Elevated Platform Allows Front-On View of Enterprise

Elevated Platform Allows Front-On View of Enterprise

Star Trek Fans Helped Name Enterprise

Star Trek Fans Helped Name Enterprise

Space Shuttle Discovery

Space Shuttle Discovery

Close-up of Space Shuttle Discovery Nose Cone

Close-up of Space Shuttle Discovery Tiles

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird Nearby

Moon Tree

Moon Tree at Kennedy Space Center

Moon Tree at Kennedy Space Center

Moon Tree Sign

Moon Tree Sign

An official “Moon Tree” is growing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This sycamore was grown from a seed that was carried to the moon by Apollo 14 in 1971 and planted here in 1976.  More info about the many moon trees growing around the country is at: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/moon_tree.html  You can watch an episode about moon trees on California’s Gold at:  http://blogs.chapman.edu/huell-howser-archives/2007/01/10/moon-trees-californias-gold-9011/

UPDATE September 11, 2017:  Unfortunately Hurricane Irma destroyed the Moon Tree at Kennedy Space Center.  The only other moon tree growing locally is at Apollo Elementary in Titusville, Florida, which was planted in 2006.

Vintage Space Art Christmas Cards

Card #1 Missileland

Card #1 Missileland

Card #2 Spaceport and Moon

Card #2 Spaceport and Moon

Card #3 Spaceport and Capsule

Card #3 Spaceport and Capsule

Card #4 Capsule on Moon

Card #4 Capsule on Moon

These vintage Christmas cards were created by NASA space artist Don Mackey in the 1960s and 1970s. I got the cards on eBay. Look closely for some really fun details.

Card #1 Missileland features a houseboat called the Indian River Queen.  The flying saucer is powered by Florida swamp gas. The artist himself is on the porch beside the pelican, and he is painting the missile launch. A Christmas tree is inside. Santa is on the roof in his long underwear playing cards with the aliens, and his outfit is hanging on the clothesline. On the lower right are leprechauns and an alligator in a Santa hat!

Card #2 Spaceport and Moon shows Santa with two aliens in a Model T sleigh with a surfboard on back. A sign on the Moon says “Snoopy was Here”! Running away from the reindeer is a little dog in a space helmet. The two aliens are digging up gold. The astronaut on the right has a box of Moon gold, and the astronaut on the left is filming the scene with a TV camera.  Perched on his back is a parrot in a space helmet.

Card #3 Spaceport and Capsule shows three aliens wearing Santa hats in a sleigh that says “Wide Load”. The astronauts in the capsule are waving, and one of them is filming the scene with a TV camera. At the back of the capsule is an antennae with an owl perched on it! 

Card #4 Capsule on Moon shows lots of happy green aliens greeting a capsule that has landed on the Moon. The capsule sits on a lunar landscape filled with craters and mountains, with the Earth and a bright shining star in the background. Coming out of the capsule is Santa Claus carrying a bag of toys and a Christmas tree. Ruldolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is peaking his head out the capsule door. The greeting on the card says “Merry Christmas from Cape Canaveral”.

Another post that contains Christmas card art by Don Mackey is at:  https://naturetime.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/vintage-space-art-christmas-cards-at-the-air-force-space-and-missile-museum/

NASA and “I Dream of Jeannie” TV Show

"I Dream of Jeannie" Display Memorabilia

“I Dream of Jeannie” Display Memorabilia

"I Dream of Jeannie" Display Lunchbox

“I Dream of Jeannie” Display Lunchbox

NASA Administration Building that was Model for Major Nelson's Workplace

NASA Administration Building that was Model for Major Nelson’s Workplace

Former Cocoa Beach Street Sign in Honor of Show

Former Cocoa Beach Street Sign in Honor of Show

New Cocoa Beach Sign Dedicated to Show

New Cocoa Beach Sign Dedicated to Show

Cocoa Beach Fire Department T-Shirt: Guardians of the Genie

Cocoa Beach Fire Department T-Shirt: Guardians of the Genie

Cocoa Beach Fire Truck Logo with Jeannie Bottle

Cocoa Beach Fire Truck Logo with Jeannie Bottle

New Jeannie Display at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum

New Jeannie Display at the Air Force Space and Missile Museum

Barbara Eden "Jeannie" Autographed Picture

Barbara Eden “Jeannie” Autographed Picture

Barbara Eden Touring Air Force Space and Missile Museum in June 1969

Barbara Eden Touring Air Force Space and Missile Museum in June 1969

Comic about Jeannie's Bottle (click to enlarge)

Comic about Jeannie’s Bottle (click to enlarge)

Jeannie Race Sign in Cocoa Beach

Jeannie Race Sign in Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach Half Marathon Medal 2015

Cocoa Beach Half Marathon Medal 2015

As a kid I sat entranced as I watched man take his first steps on the moon in 1969. I watched that fuzzy image on TV all day long and just couldn’t get enough. Then I found a television show that I fell in love with and still enjoy to this day – “I Dream of Jeannie”. The comedy stars Barbara Eden as a genie named Jeannie, and Larry Hagman as an Air Force astronaut named Major Tony Nelson. The series was set in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and centered on activities at the nearby Space Center. 

In honor of this fame, Cocoa Beach recently erected a sign at Lori Wilson Park (it replaced the former I Dream of Jeannie Lane sign).   A compendium of references to Cocoa Beach in “I Dream of Jeannie” is at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqh90e1kDWE

Jeannie is so beloved in Cocoa Beach that the firefighters use her for their fire station t-shirts.  A Jeannie bottle is also featured on their fire truck logo. 

A display dedicated to the show is located at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Museum at the Launch 26 Blockhouse (http://www.afspacemuseum.org/displays/Jeannie/). 

It can be viewed on an early space tour by Kennedy Space Center (https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/explore-attractions/behind-the-gates/cape-canaveral-early-space-tour).  In October 2015 the Jeannie display was temporarily on exhibit at the nearby Air Force Missile and Space Museum at Port Canaveral (http://capemuseum.org/).

In May 2013 Barbara Eden put a letter in a time capsule at Cape Canaveral.  It describes her experiences and feelings about NASA and the show.  You can read it by scrolling to page 16 at this link:  http://www.brevardcounty.us/docs/default-source/Files/indian-river-journal-2013-spring-summer.pdf?sfvrsn=2

UPDATE:  On October 25, 2015, Barbara Eden returned to Cocoa Beach.  She was given the key to the city, gave out medals in the shape of Jeannie bottles to winners of the first Cocoa Beach Half Marathon, and oversaw the lookalike contest. The half marathon will continue as an annual event every Fall:  http://cocoabeachhalfmarathon.com/

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