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The Space Station Museum | A little Piece of NASA in Novato!

January 16, 2016
the space station museum

I’m always searching for new museums that I haven’t been to–enter The Space Station Museum! Who would have thought that Novato had this cool little piece of NASA hiding in a shopping center! I was shcocked to find it and even more shocked to know that I have been missing the Novato Space Festival every year–where they have been hosting astronauts–even some from the Apollo missions! Where’s the universal sign up sheet at–so I don’t miss anymore of this kind of stuff??

Here is their poster from last year–can’t believe I missed Apollo Astronaut Al Worden! Scroll to the bottom of this post to see how you can support the museum as it is free admission and ran by volunteers.

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 9.48.36 PM

This is a very small and humble museum but you can see that a lot of love and work has gone into every detail. The volunteers make you feel like you are talking to a long lost friend and were so knowledgeable. This photo is for all of you cosmonaut fans out there. They have a real Sokol K-2 cosmonaut suit on display right in center of the room.
cosmonaut space suit


And here’s the under garment. I guess this is neat if you are a cosmonaut fan–being more of a NASA kind of girl, I can still kind of appreciate it–I guess-hehe.

cosmonaut under garment

Keeping with the Cosmonaut theme here–they have a Soyuz space couch. Here’s a little “tid bit” for you. When NASA was testing their “Couches” for the Mercury Men, they put pigs in them and dropped the capsule to test the impact as pigs have a similar skin and bone make up of humans. Gross, I know but still interesting! I thought it was very cool how interactive they made this museum–the couch has a sign on it that says “please sit.” If you have children this is a very educational museum you can bring them to where they can touch!


I liked this. The patches for every missions. Of course I got a close up of my favorites!

complete list of nasa mission patches

mercury gemini and apollo mission patches

And here we are again…. for the cosmonaut fan–aren’t I nice for adding these?? Haha. A piece of material from Yuri Gargarin’s Spacesuit-I have to admit this was pretty cool being from the first human in space.

material from yuri gargarins spacesuit

There’s plenty of autographed photos all around.

photo from the space station museum

This was interesting–a part from the left wing of the Discovery shuttle.

part from the wing of the space shuttle discovery

I thought the piece from the Discovery was cool until I stumbled upon this–Scott Carpenter and Wally Shirra’s signatures on a real piece of the Atlas from the Mercury Missions!! I couldn’t believe my eyes-I may have gotten just a tad bit emotional when seeing this–maybe.  All these years and I’ve been driving right by this place time and time again and one of my favorite astronauts signatures was sitting right off the highway and on a piece of the rocket from my absolute favorite NASA missions! This unit flew on the Atlas for John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Shirra, and Gordon Cooper’s missions! Wow!

piece of the atlas from nasa mercury mission

scott carpenter and wally shirra's signature on atlas peice

Here’s an artifact that is over looked. This is an Apollo Command Module couch foot restraint.

Apollo couch foot restraint.

They had a little shopping section towards the front–cool books, clothes and toys for kids. This is a great place to go Christmas shopping for your little space fan.

book selection at space station museum

After viewing this room–you will want to walk back outside and go to the right to see the rest of the exhibits. The museum was recently given more space-no pun intended! They have an almost full scale LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) on display–which in reality for me was a lot bigger then I imagined and this one was 5 ft. shorter then the real thing!

lunar excursion module replica

It was a cool set up that they worked very hard on.

the space station museum

Now, here is something you definitly don’t see everyday. This is the fuel tank for the LEM. Who would have thought it would be round-hehe. Made me think back to Apollo 10 when they only gave the crew enough fuel to get within reach of the moon without actually landing on it. If they were to land, they would not have enough fuel to get back home. Eugene Cernan is quoted saying that it was a good thing NASA did this as it was a huge temptation for them to just land! He told Neil Armstrong they painted a white line in the sky for him–Love it! By the way, if anyone knows how I can get my hands on Eugene Cernans documentary called “The Last Man on the Moon” I sure would appreciate it! I can’t find it anywhere.

lem fuel tank

I would really like to stress that even though this museum is small, I have just scratched the surface of what they have to offer! This is such a great place for field trips and to educate children about the space programs. Please come and support this little hidden gem!

the space station museum novato


Pacheco Plaza Center
464 Ignacio Blvd.
Novato, CA

Private tours/Field Trips:

They are usually one-hour long and limited to 15 visitors. Dates and times are subject to volunteer availability. To requests a private tour, please email info@TheWFoundation.org A minimum $30 donation is requested.


For more information on how to donate or become a sponsor click here.

Don’t miss their Space Festival coming up in the summer. I will update this post with the date as soon as they release it for 2016.

When We Left Earth made by the Discovery Channel is one of my favorite NASA documentaries. There are 6 episodes that do not disappoint! It covers all of NASA’s manned missions and even has a rare Neil Armstrong interview.

when we left earth by discovery

In The Shadow of the Moon is also an amazing DVD! If you are a NASA fan and haven’t seen this yet—you need to get it now. You will not be disappointed! I promise. Michael Collins interviews are hilarious!

in the shadow of the moon dvd

Thanks for coming with me to explore a little piece of NASA in Novato.

Happy Museum Exploring!



Goldie James

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