Renaissance Center honors shuttle program with Astronomy Day celebration May 10

Release Date: 4/22/2003. Expired: 5/10/2003

The Renaissance Center will include a tribute to the heroes of the space shuttle Columbia as part of its 4th annual Astronomy Day celebration May 10. Included in the afternoon’s activities will be tours of Dream Mission, the center’s replica of NASA’s space shuttle.

There also will be displays and talks by the Barnard Seyfert Astronomy Society, special shows in the CyberSphere Digital Theatre and the chance to have your picture made with your favorite Star Wars character.

The Renaissance Center has celebrated International Astronomy Day for the past three years with an afternoon schedule of free astronomy-related activities.

Previous plans for Astronomy Day included a chance to make and launch rockets for the older children as past Kids Colleges have done; however, the propellant used to launch the rockets is no longer available due to government security restrictions.

The Astronomy Day celebration continues the afternoon of May 10 with Super Saturday activities that include tours of Dream Mission in the center parking lot.

Created in 1998, Dream Mission is a half-size replica of the space shuttle that travels to schools for simulated satellite rescue missions promoting teamwork, problem-solving, math and science skills. The shuttle will be on display as a tribute to the seven astronauts who lost their lives in the Columbia explosion.

Super Saturday will also include the opportunity to join Chuck Schlemm and others from the Barnard Seyfert Astronomy Society in exploring space through various free displays, star talks and models. The center’s CyberSphere will host a schedule of space-related planetarium shows and a space movie marathon also will be offered. The schedule includes a special presentation of an interactive science program in the Michael Faraday Science Theatre as well.

Special guests for Astronomy Day will include members of the 501st Legion, which is the Southern Outpost of the Star Wars costuming club. There will be a multimedia display about the popular movie series and the opportunity to have a picture made with a Star Wars character for just $2.

The evening will include a 7 p.m. performance of the Renaissance Players production of the classic comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for children under 13.

The 4th annual Astronomy Day celebration concludes that night with the opportunity to view the stars through the powerful telescopes of the members of the Barnard Seyfert Astronomy Society, which will be brought in and set up at the center.

For more information on Astronomy Day’s Kids College or Super Saturday celebrations, contact Allison Kruse at (615)740-5563.