Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Space Expo

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center will host a SPACE EXPO featuring a Public Nierman Challenger Mission -‘Return to the Moon’ on Saturday August 4; and a Special Event for the Mars Rover Curiosity Landing, with the live NASA feed shown on the Heikoff Dome Theatre on Sunday August 5.  There will be space-related events in the galleries all weekend!

On Saturday, our public Nierman Challenger Mission will be ‘Return to the Moon.’  Take the ultimate trip by experiencing our realistic Mission Control and 21st century Space Station simulators! Two-hour program introduces you to the teamwork, technology and drama involved in space travel. In the year 2015 astronauts are on their way back to the moon to stay! Navigating their way into lunar orbit, participants launch a probe and analyze a variety of data to select a site for a permanent moon base.  Related activities include a Rover Landing Challenge in the Tinkering Studio; Ask a Planetary Scientist table (featuring the Magic Planet); Hands-on Activities at the E-bar.

All weekend, you can learn more about the upcoming Mars Landing by watching “7 Minutes of Terror” – a video produced by NASA about the dangers Curiosity will be facing - playing now on our Lobby Plasma screens.  Play our Xbox Kinect Rover Landing game to try to land Curiosity on Mars safely yourself. And try out Spacecraft 3D, an AR application that lets you view a 3D image of the Rover Curiosity and control its movements on your iPad or iPhone

On Sunday, join us for a special Mars Rover Curiosity Landing event.  NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission is the most ambitious, complex mission in the history of robotic space exploration. On 5-6 August 2012, the mission will set down a large, mobile laboratory - the dune buggy-sized Curiosity rover - using a new form of precision landing technology that makes many of Mars' most intriguing regions viable destinations for the first time.  During the 23 months after landing, Curiosity will analyze dozens of samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground as it explores with greater range than any previous Mars rover.  Curiosity will carry the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on Mars' surface, a payload more than 10 times as massive as those of earlier Mars rovers.  Its assignment: Investigate whether conditions have been favorable for microbial life and for preserving clues in the rocks about possible past life.

It is a historic moment in space exploration - Curiosity will be the first rover to land on the red planet since 2004, and the first spacecraft to land since 2008. NASA launched its latest mission to Mars on November 26, 2011. NASA expects Mars Rover Curiosity to land near the Martian equator at about 10:31PM PDT on August 5, 2012.

On Sunday, the Fleet will close as usual at 7PM and re-open at 8PM for the Mars Rover Curiosity Landing event ~ an opportunity to watch the live NASA feed of Curiosity’s challenging landing in the Heikoff Dome Theater at 10:31PM.  Leading up to the moment of truth, here’s the chance for you to cruise the Red Planet in a special Planetarium presentation at 8:30PM - a close-up look at Mars, the landing site, Gale Crater and other aspects of the red planet, narrated by resident astronomer Dr. Lisa Will. 

We'll look over the shoulders of mission controllers during live NASA TV coverage of the landing, and maybe even see Curiosity's first views of its new home on the Red Planet.  Ongoing NASA coverage will be monitored beginning at 9PM, with interviews from Jet Propulsion Lab and NASA scientists about how the progress of the landing is proceeding.

You can ‘ask an astronomer’ any lingering questions, play Xbox Kinect Rover Landing and Spacecraft 3D, and have your photo taken with a life-size display of Mars Rover Curiosity – a true keepsake!  Members of the San Diego Astronomy Association will have their telescopes set up on the Prado for viewing – although Mars will be low in the sky that evening, with limited visibility.

More information on Curiosity  here

August 4:
Where:                            Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
12 Noon - 2 PM     Public Nierman Challenger Mission
12 Noon - 3 PM     Rover Landing Challenge in the Tinkering Studio
12 Noon - 3PM        Ask a Planetary Scientist table (featuring the Magic Planet)
12 Noon - 3PM      Hands on Activities at the E-bar

Challenger Cost:    Members: $15/person, Non-Members: $20/person;
Other activities included with Gallery Admission

August 5:              This is a separate event from normal Fleet offerings!
Where:                  Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Heikoff Dome Theatre
8 PM                          Doors Open for NASA’s Mars Rover Curiosity Event
8:30 PM                Special Planetarium presentation on Mars
9 PM                          Ask an Astronomer and Ongoing NASA coverage
10:31PM               Watch a live NASA feed of the Mars Rover landing

Mars Rover Landing Event Cost: 

Members: $8/person
Non-Members: $10/person 
Children 5-12: $5/person    

Online sales of the Mars Rover Landing Event will be available soon.

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