A large, star-speckled trailer rolled into Eastern Michigan University’s campus late Wednesday night, housing the NASA exhibit Journey to Tomorrow. The exhibit is remaining in front of the Science Complex for the 2013 Star Party, a celebration of all things space-related.
The event, which took place today from noon to 8 p.m. and will happen again tomorrow at the same time, is free and open to the public.
“I’ve very excited to be part of Star Party 2013,” said Thomas Kasper, who works as the coordinator of the planetarium and runs all of its public shows. “It’s a great event, fun for all ages and it’s free.”
The Journey to Tomorrow trailer features a number of informative and interactive activities, such as a rock from the moon, models of rockets and other vehicles, a pair of spacesuit gloves and a display comparing the weights of average soda cans on several different planets. Inside, visitors can have their picture taken for the Picture Yourself in Space photo kiosk and view a large inflatable space rover.
The event also includes two movies, which will be showing in the planetarium. The first is “Stars,” a look inside the life of a star and the way the night sky has affected people throughout history. The movie has three more showing: tonight at 9 p.m. and tomorrow at 2 and 6 p.m. The second is a kid-friendly film called “The Little Star That Could” about a star in search of his own set of planets. It will be showing two more times tomorrow, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Tonight, there will also be a stargazing event at 10 p.m. on top of Sherzer Observatory, which will be facilitated by members of EMU’s Astronomy Club.
2013 Star Party aims to get participants excited about space exploration.
“NASA has long term goals to return to the moon and endeavor on manned missions to the planet Mars,” Kasper said. “While these may not happen for another two decades, today’s students will be tomorrow’s space travelers.”
Kasper feels that NASA and space travel’s contributions to everyday life are often overlooked.
“Whether most folks realize it or not, NASA has had a huge impact on our daily lives,” Kasper said. “Many of the objects we rely on and take for granted on a daily basis were products of the space program: cordless tools, memory foam, scratch-resistant lenses and water-filtering pitchers – all invented by NASA.”
View more exclusive photos from the Star Party at easternecho.com/gallery/2013-star-party.