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[i]Inside the museum, known as the "Golden Cube" nearly from the initial planning, is one of three Soviet Sputnik Is known to be left in the world. Adjacent is the United States' response to Sputnik: a mockup of Explorer 1.
The first U.S. satellite held James Van Allen's radiation detector that discovered radiation belts surrounding Earth. Early in his career, Van Allen tested similar devices at White Sands Proving Grounds. The museum also displays a basalt rock from the moon, one of 832 pounds of rocks Apollo astronauts returned with; as well as the Moon hemisphere sculpture that hung behind CBS newsman Walter Cronkite on July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
Other artifacts include trinitite from the world's first atomic bomb test on July 16, 1945, at WSMR, along with mementoes from Joe Kittinger's jump from 102,800 feet during Project Manhigh. Ed Dittmer, an Alamogordo resident, is featured in displays training chimps HAM (an acronym for Holloman Aero Medical) and Enos. Dittmer participated in Manhigh, too. He and Kittinger were also the first Americans to perform the first parabolic flights over White Sands that create 20-30 seconds of weightlessness for astronaut training. Today the maneuver is done in what is called the "Vomit Comet."
And, HAM is buried on the grounds.[/i]
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