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“Big Bird Visits Cloudcroft on His Way to Moscow” at the Las Cruces Railroad Museum 2018

The Las Cruces Railroad Museum hosts a free Brown Bag Lecture at noon on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. On Aug. 14, Dave Dooling, education director of the Alamogordo Space Museum, will present “Big Bird Visits Cloudcroft on His Way to Moscow.”

Many of the best spies of the Cold War stopped in Cloudcroft to get their eyes checked before taking a tour of the Soviet Union. The most legendary was “Big Bird”, the nickname for the KH-9 Hexagon spy satellite. Recently released documents show that it, and earlier spy satellites, passed through Cloudcroft for alignment tests on their way to photograph the USSR’s military secrets. We also know that Big Bird made a hide-in-plain-sight appearance aboard the Space Shuttle in 1984 as well as helping the Hubble Space Telescope. Dooling, a veteran space writer who covered early Space Shuttle missions, stumbled onto this obscure bit of New Mexico’s history as he was developing summer camp programs.

The museum is located at 351 N. Mesilla St. and is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For additional information, visit the website at: http://las-cruces.org/museums or call 575.528.3444.