News Release, United States Naval Academy Museum
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – “Sea, Sun, and Space” is a new exhibition open now at the Naval Academy Museum. The exhibition traces a century of Navy efforts to use radio, and later satellite hardware, in the space environment and will be on display through March 2020.
Since the mid-1900s, the U.S. Navy has used satellites for reconnaissance, weather and solar observation, communications and navigation. This exhibition features several models of satellites on loan from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which has been a focal point of space research and technological development for nearly a century.
Each of the satellites on display carried important scientific instruments into orbit, including spectrometers used to track upper atmospheric winds and prototype technologies that performed valuable experiments, like testing the functionality of atomic clocks in space.
“It is important for students and visitors to learn about the role the Naval Research Laboratory has played in understanding the environments in which the Navy operates, as well as the impacts our operations have on those environments,” said USNA Museum Director Claude Berube.
“Sea, Sun, and Space” showcases how scientific inquiry can drive technical developments, and how engineering feats enable new fields of scientific study. These satellites have helped mankind to better understand the space environment.
“We wanted to emphasize to midshipmen that every major at USNA and every job in the fleet is influenced by satellites and NRL’s work in one way or another, ” said USNA Museum Senior Curator Tracie Logan.
The exhibit is located in the Cheevers Gallery on the first floor of the USNA museum in Preble Hall, which is open 362 days a year (closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day). It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Recommended gate access for pedestrian visitors to the museum is through Gate 3 at the end of Maryland Avenue.