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13

FRIDAY

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The space program hasn’t aged well in our collective consciousness. We don’t care much anymore about space walks or missions to test the effects of weightlessness on fountain pens. Shuttle flights are fluffy footnotes at the end of newscasts, unless they engage our science-fiction fantasies, as the Mars lander did. Now we’re building the international space station, a floating tribute to cushy “We Are the World” global togetherness. How boring. The Satellite Sky, Robert Stone’s 1990 film about the space race and the Cold War, chronicles a time when space exploration was not only new and exciting but also served as a metaphor for communism vs. capitalism. Composed of archival footage as well as B-movie clips, this funny, informative film frames the space race as history’s most expensive propaganda campaign. Check it out at noon at the National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Room 105. Free. (202) 501-5040. (Dave Mann)