Juan David Latorre
The ambassadors of Italy, Riccardo Guariglia, and the United States, Julissa Reynoso, attended the inauguration last Thursday of the Astronauts exhibition at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, with more than 200 pieces donated by institutions and private individuals. Also present at the opening was the first Spanish woman astronaut, Sara García.
The exhibition has been curated by Sonnia L. Rivas-Caballero, Javier Gregori, journalist at Cadena SER and Belén Yuste, head of the culture and science area of the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre.
The director of Rocaviva and curator of the exhibition, Sonnia L. Rivas-Caballero, pointed out during the presentation that “the first section of the exhibition, Life in Space, is designed for younger audiences. It has a simple language and ends with a showcase of antique toys related to space. The second section is dedicated to a selection of female astronauts, from the legendary Valentina Tereshkova, through Sally Ride, the first American astronaut, and Claudie Haigneré, the French astronaut, to the Italian Samantha Cristoforetti, who has just returned from her last mission in space”.
Spain is also present in the exhibition with the prototype of the space suit designed by the Spanish engineer Emilio Herrera in 1935 and the space dedicated to Santiago Ramón y Cajal, as NASA organised a mission to study the brain in weightlessness and dedicated it to the Nobel Prize winner. For this purpose, drawings and histological preparations of the great Spanish scientist travelled into space.
In the exhibition, which will be on display until 28 May 2023, a moon rock, a gift from the US government to Spain, can be seen; photos of Spain taken from space, a suit of the Russian cosmonaut Usachev, a display case dedicated specifically to the Apollo 11 mission and the role of Fresnedillas de la Oliva in this historic milestone, the telescope of Santiago Ramón y Cajal and a reproduction of Galileo’s telescope, models of the International Space Station and of the Ariane 5 and Saturn V rockets, and as it could not be otherwise, being in the National Museum of Natural Sciences, very special material will be on display: Astronaut animals and animals that are guided by the stars.