Jamestown and NASA

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[top] Jamestown and NASA: Then and Now

In anticipation of commemorating the 400th Anniversary of settling Jamestown in 1607 and to promote public interest and participation in the history of exploration, adventure and discovery, NASA LaRC entered into a partnership with the Jamestown 2007 Commemoration Committee in November 2005. Jamestown 2007, a sub-organization of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, established partnerships to provide vital educational, marketing, and outreach benefits regarding the commemoration of America's 400th Anniversary.

The primary goal of NASA's partnership with Jamestown 2007 has been to preserve and promote the spirit of exploration that led to the formation of our nation and continued with NASA's discoveries in aeronautics as well as the original space flights and moon landings. In addition to describing the challenges faced by the Jamestown settlers and comparing them with the challenges faced by NASA's early space program, the partnership also looks to the future. The partnership has included the development of a wide array of educational materials and the planning of numerous special events, with the commemoration culminating on the 400th Anniversary Weekend. The following provides an overview of events and activities associated with the NASA/Jamestown partnership:

  • The 2006 Godspeed Said: A replica of one of the ships that landed in Jamestown in 1607 visited six major East Coast ports from May through July, 2006. Accompanied by a unique Landing Party Festival of educational exhibits, interactive displays and entertaining performances, NASA LaRC presented exhibits and speakers at each port.
  • Jamestown Live!: A one-hour, nationwide webcast that was made available to more than 50 million K-13 students in over 90,000 schools across the country. Educational projects focusing on Jamestown were presented online by celebrities, educational leaders and recognized experts -- including NASA engineers and scientists.
  • America's 400th Anniversary Weekend (May 11-13, 2007): Attended by approximately 66,000 people, including distinguished guests Queen Elizabeth II and President Bush, this was the culminating event for the Jamestown 2007 initiative. An interactive NASA exhibit called "Jamestown and NASA: Exploring the Past, Discovering the Future, Understanding the Journey" was featured.
  • Jamestown Artifact Flies on the Space Shuttle: Focused on leading the next phase of American exploration, NASA honored those who led one of the first phases at Jamestown. A 400-year old cargo tag reading "Yamestowne" was flown aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station and was then returned to the Jamestown settlement in September of 2007 after traveling 6 million miles circling the earth. The tag has been placed on display in the archaearium at Jamestown.

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