David M. Brown was born on April 16, 1956 and to celebrate what would have been his 60th birthday, the Friends of the Planetarium are devoting this weekend to NASA, space exploration and the manned spaceflight program.
In coordination with the USA Science and Engineering Festival, also being celebrated this weekend, the Planetarium’s Saturday programs are satellite events for the festival. As part of the celebration, there will be a special display on loan to from McKinley Elementary school dedicated to David Brown.
Other events include:
- Friday, April 15 – Guest speaker Dr. Jennifer Lavasseur, curator for astronaut cameras and personal equipment, Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum will discuss astronauts and photography. Lavasseur has some of the equipment that Dave Brown used in filming the documentary of the STS-107 crew’s training. Learn about how astronauts take those amazing images in space! Target Audience: ages 9 and older and their families. Duration: The talk will last about one hour. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the talk begins at 7 p.m.
- Saturday, April 16 – “Astronaut Diaries: Remembering the Shuttle Columbia Crew." This one-hour documentary, based on video shot by Dave Brown and the other Columbia astronauts, reveals many “behind the scenes” details of astronaut training and amusing traditions of the astronaut corps. Follow the Columbia crew through two years of preparation for the flight of STS-107. Duration: one hour. Recommended for ages 9 yrs and older. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m.
Guest speaker Dr. Valerie Neal, curator of the David M Brown collection at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, will talk about the science of Brown’s shuttle mission, the International Space Station, and her recent stint of underwater astronaut training. Her presentation will start immediately following the showing of the Astronaut Diaries. The ticket booth and facility will be opening at 7:30 p.m. however, the prior show will be letting out then and the lecture will begin after attendees for Dr. Neal’s talk have had an opportunity to enter the dome.
- Sunday, April 17 – Magic Tree House Space Mission Travel with the brother-sister duo, Jack and Annie in their Magic Tree House® as they proceed to answer the questions left for them in a mysterious note signed “-M.” Magic Tree House® Space Mission is best suited for ages 5 to 12 and their families. Running Time: 35 minutes Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the show starts at 3 p.m.
Perfect Little Planet – Fly over the surface of Pluto, dive down the ice cliffs of Miranda, sail through the rings of Saturn, feel the lightning storms at Jupiter and walk on the surface of Mars. Which destination would you choose? This is the solar system. Running time 35 minutes. Doors open at 1 p.m. and the show begins at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets and more information is available online at the friendsoftheplanetarium.org
. Admission for this weekend’s programming is $3 for children (up to age 12) and seniors (60+) $5 for Friends, Members and Adults.
The David M. Brown Planetarium is located at 1426 N Quincy Street. Free parking is available in the Education Center parking lot. The planetarium is a 12 min. walk from Ballston or Virginia Square Metro stops.