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One small step for Scott at space exhibition

  • Tara Curtis, chief executive of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, with a map from the Apollo Mission 11 signed by Buzz Aldrin, second man on the moon. Aldrin’s step onto the moon on July 20, 1969 is pictured adjacent (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

An exhibit to commemorate the first moonwalk will include artefacts and memorabilia compiled by a local collector.

Scott Stallard believes the 50 Years of Space exhibit, which opened on Wednesday at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, offers something for people of all ages.

The interactive exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first moonwalk on June 21, 1969.

Mr Stallard said that many adults who lived through the period may never have seen actual photographs of the Moon landing.

The professional photographer added: “It was an incredible step for man to make because if you think about it we were just getting off the ground with Orville Wright in 1903. “Sixty-six years later we are walking on the Moon.

“I don’t think man has ever made a jump that big in such a short time. That to me is a phenomenal achievement that I hope many adults will appreciate better.”

Mr Stallard said that the exhibit would also show children what was possible.

He explained: “I think if you get kids to dream big by seeing what science and co-operation between humans can do ... that’s the sort of thing that changes things for the better.”

Mr Stallard has loaned several items from his personal collection to the exhibit, including autographed and authenticated photographs and hundreds of Russian pins used to commemorate space programme milestones.

A map used by the Apollo 11 astronauts to avoid craters on the moon when the spacecraft landed in 1969 was also provided.

It is signed by American astronaut Buzz Aldrin, one of the first men to walk on the moon.

He said that his interest in space memorabilia began at an auction held in London about 20 years ago.

Mr Stallard said: “I saw this fantastic picture of Buzz Aldrin on the Moon.

“It suddenly dawned on me that would be such a unique photograph — as a photographer — to own.”

While he did not buy the piece, it acted as spark to start his own collection, which has grown over the past 20 years.

Mr Stallard said: “I didn’t buy everything at one time. I bought things one at a time when I could afford them.”

The BUEI exhibit will also feature a 12-minute video created by Mr Stallard.

The presentation was created from photographs and video taken in the lead-up to the launch of a Space Shuttle Discovery mission from the Kennedy Space Centre to the International Space Station in 2001.

Mr Stallard said: “I got to hang out in the background and go through all the sort of back area and photograph the astronauts when they were being taken out to the shuttle.”

The exhibition runs until October 9.