World’s Strangest

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Jingle Bells in Space

The National Air and Space Museum, a part of the Smithsonian Institution, keeps these very special jingle bells as a part of history.

These bells are part of the harmonica and bell set carried by astronauts Walter “Wally” Schirra and Tom Stafford aboard Gemini 6 in December of 1965. The mission was to test the docking and maneuvering capability of the Gemini spacecraft.

Approximately five hours after the successful maneuvering of the the two spacecraft to within six inches of each other, astronauts Schirra and Stafford played “Jingle Bells” with these instruments and pretended to see a UFO called Santa Claus.

Forty-five years later, they are on display in Washington as part of the “Apollo to the Moon” exhibition. If you can’t go, you can see a lot of history at the Smithsonian Institution’s website. Link

(Image credit: Eric Long, National Air and Space Museum)

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December 14th, 2010

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