Visitors of all ages are invited to celebrate Space Day this year at both National Air and Space Museum locations Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy visitors will see space shuttle Discovery up close and learn more about the longest-serving orbiter through interactive space simulations, hands-on activities and tours. Astronauts Pam Melroy and Steve Bowen, who was in Discovery's last mission STS-133, will be in a panel discussion, and astronaut Tom Jones will sign books. For younger visitors there will be "Flights of Fancy" story times and a performance by Flumpa and Friends with Wendy Whitten the Singing Scientist.
Visitors to the museum's Washington, D.C., building will see the most recent popular-culture addition to the collection, Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear, and meet NASA astronaut Patrick G. Forrester, who served on the crew that flew Buzz safely home from the International Space Station. There will also be presentations about spacesuits and the Hubble telescope as well as model rocket displays from the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association; Tripoli Central Virginia Rocketry Club and the Northern Virginia Association of Rocketry; hands-on activities, discussions and book signings.
Space Day, created in 1997 by Lockheed Martin, is designed to encourage students to consider careers in space exploration as they study math, science, engineering and technology. Lockheed Martin 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.
The National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.