Apollo 11 Astronauts Are Being Honored With Butter Sculptures at the Ohio State Fair

American Dairy Assocation
American Dairy Assocation

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, its three astronauts are being honored in the most Midwestern way imaginable: with life-sized butter sculptures at the Ohio State Fair.

Along with the uncannily lifelike statues of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, there are also sculptures depicting a helmeted Neil Armstrong saluting the American flag next to the lunar module Eagle, a blown-up version of the official Apollo 11 patch, and the calf and cow that are showcased at the fair every year (this year, however, their ear tags read “Apollo”).

Ohio State Fair Apollo 11 astronauts butter sculptures
American Dairy Association

Armstrong was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, CNET reports, and also bought an Ohio dairy farm after leaving NASA in 1971. He’s a big part of the reason Ohio feels a particular connection to space travel, but he’s not the only part—John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, was born in Cambridge, Ohio, and later served as an Ohio senator. There’s even an image of an astronaut on Ohio’s state quarter.

Though the sculptures are life-sized, they’re significantly heavier than real people. Dairy farmers donated 2200 pounds of butter to create them, and they’re also supported by steel frames. To prevent softening, the artists spent 400 out of the 500 total work hours sculpting the display from inside a cooler at 46°F.

According to the American Dairy Association Mideast, which sponsors the exhibit, about half a million fairgoers will visit the Dairy Products Building from now through August 4 to see the butter sculptures and enjoy dairy-based foods like ice cream, milkshakes, cheese sandwiches, and good, old-fashioned milk. Past displays have honored the classic holiday film A Christmas Story, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Ohio’s U.S. presidents, and many more Ohio-centric subjects.

[h/t CNET]

Learn Python From Home for Just $50

Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com
Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com

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Where to Watch SpaceX’s Historic Astronaut Launch Live

Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

SpaceX will make history today when it launches its first crewed spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 4:33 p.m. EDT. Powered by a Falcon 9 rocket, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will transport NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station, marking the company's first-ever crewed mission and the first crewed launch from the U.S. since 2011. If you want to watch the momentous event from home, there are plenty of ways to stream it live online.

Both SpaceX and NASA will be hosting livestreams of the May 27 launch. NASA's webcast kicks off at 12:15 p.m. EDT today with live looks at the Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center. The feed will continue streaming until late in the morning of Thursday, May 28, when the spacecraft is set to dock at the International Space Station. You can catch the coverage on NASA's website, its social media channels, or on the NASA TV channel through cable or satellite. SpaceX's stream also starts at 12:15 p.m. EDT, and it will be broadcast on the company's YouTube channel. (You can watch the video below).

Several television networks will be covering the event, with ABC and National Geographic airing "Launch America: Mission to Space Live" at 3 p.m., and Discovery and the Science Channel showing "Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space" at 2 p.m. If you're looking for more online streaming options, the American Museum of Natural History and Intrepid Museum in New York City will be hosting live events to celebrate the launch this afternoon on YouTube.

The launch has been scheduled down to the minute, but SpaceX still has time to change that depending on the weather. If today's launch doesn't happen according to plan, there are windows on May 30 and May 31 set aside for second attempts.

[h/t TechCrunch]