Starting June 7, the public show planetarium schedule at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science will change. All shows will focus on the moon in different ways in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing this summer. Since the seventh is also a First Friday, some special activities related to the moon will be available in the museum’s atrium that night from 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Most of the planetarium shows will be returning for encores. The children’s show Earth’s Wild Ride, shown daily at 11 a.m., joins a family living on the moon in the future as they observe an eclipse on the Earth and remember key points in history. The live, interactive night sky tour, Enchanted Skies, will still be presented at 2 p.m. as always. At 3 p.m. Earth, Moon & Sun. describes the motions of objects in the sky, but also talks about the history of lunar exploration and envisions its future. At 4 p.m., Dawn of the Space Age, as the name of the show suggests, tells the history of people reaching space, including the Apollo missions. The 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. shows will be introduced by a special five-minute feature describing highlights of the Apollo program, called A 50th Anniversary Tribute to Apollo.
The new program will be presented at noon. CAPCOM Go!: The Apollo Story, describes in detail the monumental obstacles that had to be overcome to reach the moon. It follows the development of the Apollo program and highlights some of the key people who made the missions possible, including New Mexico’s own Harrison Schmitt. The immense challenges they overcame can inspire a new generation of designers, engineers, explorers and dreamers. CAPCOM Go!: The Apollo Story is a production of NSC Creative.
“With the U.S.’s plans to return to the moon in the coming years, now is a good time to remember how people got there the first time,” said Jim Greenhouse, the museum’s Space Science Director. “We are pleased to offer several shows which study different aspects of lunar exploration.”
The new schedule will be offered every day except for the holidays when the museum is closed. Admission to the planetarium shows alone is adults $7, seniors $6, and children $4. However, the best value is a combination ticket that includes the entire museum along with the planetarium for only an additional $3 per ticket.
On June 7, the museum will close briefly from 5 – 5:30 p.m., although the Hope Café will remain open for anyone who wishes to enjoy dinner on-site. On the First Friday of each month, the museum reopens at 5:30 p.m., usually with a themed program available in the atrium, so this evening will offer simple hands-on activities related to the moon along with a few videos. Any admission purchased that day will include returning for First Friday, but admission for those entering the first time after 5:30 p.m. will be only $5 for the museum. Fractal experiences in the planetarium will be the normal charge of adults $10, seniors $7, children $5. If the sky is clear, the observatory will be open briefly from 8:30 p.m. until the museum closes. [something about the DynaTheater may go here if I find out what they are doing that night]
Other programs to celebrate Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary will be announced soon, so keep an eye on the museum’s information sources. Look for advanced screenings of Apollo 11 documentaries which will air on different networks along with special lectures and displays.