There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
In stark contrast to the National Air & Space Museum’s “Space Race” exhibit, the new IMAX film Mission to MIR celebrates the recent era of cooperation between the planet’s two great spacefaring nations. After a whirlwind recap of the Cold War and a tour of the Baikonur launch area (a site once so secret it didn’t appear on Soviet maps), the 40-minute film focuses on Norm Thagard and Shannon Lucid, the first Americans to work aboard the Russian space station MIR. Floating 200 miles above the earth, MIR consists of six separate modules connected by claustrophobia-inducing crawlways. Although the voice-over bombastically refers to MIR as a “palace in space,” Lucid sets the record straight when she describes the 130-ton space station as a house where nobody’s thrown anything out over the last 10 years. (Lucid’s contributions during her six-month sojourn: a shelf of books and a pink balloon to mark her birthday.) Mission to MIR is unabashed propaganda, but effective nevertheless. It’s hard not to feel a little warm and fuzzy at the sight of astronauts and cosmonauts blending voices in a guitar rendition of “Moscow Nights.” At 11:30 a.m., 1:40 & 3:50 p.m. daily at the National Air & Space Museum’s Langley Theater, 6th & Independence Ave. SW. $4.50. (202) 357-2700. (Greg Kitsock)