Anyone who’s done the tourist trail in Washington DC knows the National Air and Space Museum (part of The Smithsonian) is one of the coolest places on earth.
So it’s very exciting to see ANU announce they’ve signed up with that august body:
The signing of an agreement overnight in Washington DC between the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and The Australian National University represents a giant leap forward for efforts to build a national astronomy and space science museum at Mount Stromlo.
ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Chubb AC and National Air and Space Museum Director General John ‘Jack’ Dailey signed the agreement. It sets out the first steps for cooperation that will support the development of a museum to tell the story of Australia’s contribution to space science and space technologies, and celebrate the special role Australian astronomers have played in the exploration of the cosmos.
The signing comes as the University prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the iconic Mount Stromlo Observatory and will see a number of key curatorial staff from Washington come to Canberra in coming months to take part in a planning conference for the proposed museum.
“The National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC is one of the great science museums of the world. We want to build a museum that will inspire our young people, melding science, art, culture and history – and growing our already close relationship with the Smithsonian Institution will ensure that we create something wonderful for Australia,” Professor Chubb said.
Professor Chubb said the museum would draw on the long history of cooperation between the United States and Australia in astronomy and space science, and the Smithsonian Institution has always been part of that cooperation.
All very well to get the ideas but the artefacts might be a bit tougher.
[Photo by Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution]