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...the 8-foot-high lighted star from Coney Island's now closed space-age theme park, Astroland, will join the museum's popular culture collection where it will be housed along other science fiction icons such as the Star Trek starship Enterprise. The Star will go on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center after construction of Phase Two of the center is completed in 2011.
The Star -- donated by Carol Hill Albert and Jerome Albert, owners of the former Astroland Park and current operators of Coney Island's Cyclone roller coaster -- served as a symbolic representation of Astroland's space-age theme. The two spinning stars at the entrance on Surf Avenue were installed in 1963, at the height of the space race, and welcomed visitors for nearly half a century to the world-renowned Astroland amusement park.
"The National Air and Space Museum is delighted to receive this important popular culture artifact into the national collection," said Margaret A. Weitekamp, curator in the Division of Space History. "Astroland embodied the widespread excitement about human spaceflight in the early 1960s. Having a Star from the Astroland gateway, where thousands of people passed to enjoy this entertaining vision of the space age, is a wonderful example of that space craze."
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