Make Your Plans For May 5!
Visitors of all ages are invited to attend a galactic adventure
next week, as the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum hosts
its annual Space Day celebration on Friday, May 5, at the Steven F.
Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.
To encourage families to attend, the center will have extended
hours for the day -- 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Lockheed Martin has even
kicked in for free parking for attendees.
Space Day will feature a busy schedule of astronaut appearances,
live performances by the Smithsonian's Discovery Theater, hands-on
learning stations, book signings, curator talks, tours, stories for
children and a special space-themed IMAX film festival with tickets
discounted to $5 for each show. The films conclude with an 8 p.m.
showing of the IMAX Experience version of the Tom Hanks drama
Visitors also will have
the chance to win an array of prizes, including trips to Space Camp
in Huntsville, AL, and a Bushnell telescope.
Created by Lockheed Martin in 1997, Space Day is designed to
encourage students to consider careers in space exploration as they
study math, science, engineering and technology. The company
sponsors Space Day events across the United States and Canada, with
more than 70 partners and associates including the National Air and
Space Museum and NASA.
This year’s theme is "Living and Working on the Moon,"
which reflects NASA's plans to create a lunar test-bed that leads
to human exploration of Mars and beyond. The space agency is
readying designs for a new reusable spacecraft that can take up to
six astronauts to the moon and back.
A 30-minute broadcast of Space Day activities at the Udvar-Hazy
Center will be distributed by satellite to more than 200,000
schools in North America.
More than 1,500 sixth-graders from Washington-area schools will
take part in Space Day at the Udvar-Hazy Center. In remarks during
the opening ceremony, former senator and astronaut John Glenn will
offer advice on how young people can get involved in space
Former senator and astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt, Apollo 17
lunar module pilot, will be on hand for a late-morning talk and
book-signing. Shuttle and International Space Station astronaut
Carl Walz, former shuttle astronaut Tom Jones and educator
astronaut Ricky Arnold will also take part in Space Day at the
Organizations offering activity stations at the center will
include NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the American Institute of
Aeronautics and Astronautics, AMSAT-Radio Amateur Satellite
Corporation, the Chantilly Robotics Team and Boy Scout Troop
"Space Day gives us the perfect chance to inspire the next
generation of engineers, astronauts and educators—plus their
families," said museum director Gen. J.R. "Jack" Dailey. "The
Udvar-Hazy Center is home to some remarkable icons of flight, but
programs like Space Day show that we’re also a significant
resource for the community and schools, local and thousands of
The center features the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar, whose
centerpiece is Enterprise (below) -- the only NASA space shuttle
anywhere on display to the public. The hangar is also home to the
Gemini VII spacecraft, an instrument ring segment from an unflown
Saturn V rocket, a space shuttle main engine, the mobile quarantine
trailer that housed the returned Apollo 11 crew, and scores of
cruise missiles, satellites and space telescopes.
Among its hundreds of smaller artifacts are a human-sized NASA
android used for spacesuit testing and research crystals formed in