Over the weekend the Spaceflight America Museum reopened their doors to the public after renovations to the Arthur Storer Planetarium and space exhibits. You can now walk through the International Space Station exhibit and learn how astronauts live and work in space! One of the major goals of the museum’s renovations is to create a more child-friendly and family orientated environment. John Carey, volunteer at the Spaceflight museum said, “We are really trying to get kids to be excited about science from a young age. It’s a great place for the kids. We’re designing the museum to be family oriented and we will be hosting events that a lot of people will like, just check our website!”
Mrs. Zetty found out about today’s reopening on calvertmacaronikid.com and that her daughter, Lily, is having a blast. “I just thought that this would be cool for her. The planetarium was a lot of fun. She seems to be really interested in all the space stuff and really likes wearing the astronaut gear.”
Visitors of the museum got a chance to wear spacesuits, put their hands in the glovebox, and even touch a glove that has been in outer space. Daniel Carey, a freshman at Northern high school excitedly told me that real astronauts from NASA donate artifacts all of the time, and occasionally visit the museum themselves. “The best part about working here is the people I get to meet and all of the artifacts I get to see.” Daniel was offered a job at the Spaceflight museum after winning the Calvert County Science Fair for creating a way to send objects into orbit using non-conventional means—making it more efficient and cheaper to send objects to space. Daniel said, “Anybody interested in space travel or touching things that have been in outer space should visit the museum!”
The volunteers at the Spaceflight Museum make their love for space kids clear. Dr. Arness says he volunteers for the pure enjoyment. “I do this because I am an amateur astronomer interested in astronomical science.” Dr. Arness works in the planetarium visually educating children on stars, planets, constellations, fun facts and more. “The museum is an ongoing project, we are always adding and updating things. We had some work done on the projector for the re-opening and we now have a state-of-the-art mirror projector that allows us to play movies in the dome. I think the kids get a real kick out of coming here and surprisingly they usually know a lot about astronomy when they walk in the door”.
The re-opened Spaceflight Museum offers planetarium shows, a new Kidz Zone, hands on activities, and a chance to shop in the space store! The volunteers encourage kids to have their birthday party or group event at the Spaceflight America Museum! For more information check out their Facebook page or go on their website at www.spaceflightamericamuseum.org
Chanel Underwood / Calvert Beacon Intern