Dateline: December 17. Year: 2116. Spaceship: Bravo Zulu 88. Destination: Galaxy M12. Assignment: Outer Space. Follow Interplanetary News reporter Ray Peterson as he journeys into the vast reaches of deep space to cover a routine check of infra radiation flux, whatever that is. Despite disagreements with the space station commander and the rigors of space travel, Peterson is ultimately responsible for disarming an errant space ship that threatens to destroy the Earth. Don’t miss “Assignment Outer Space,” showing at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on First Friday, May 4 at 7pm. Free.
Intrepid reporter Peterson is played by Rik Van Nutter, who is perhaps best known for his role as CIA man Felix Leiter in the James Bond film “Thunderball” (1965). Van Nutter has also appeared alongside Peter Ustinov in “Romanoff and Juliet” and with Jim Brown, one of the best runningbacks in the history of the NFL, in the 1979 action film “Pacific Inferno.”
Crewman Al (X15) is played by Archie Savage, a former member of Hemsley Winfield’s and Katherine Dunham’s dance troupes, which explains how he mimicked the weightlessness of space so convincingly in the opening scene. He has appeared in 23 films and six Broadway stage productions including the original “South Pacific.”
“Assignment Outer Space” (1960, aka “Space Men”) was Italian filmmaker Antonio Margheriti’s directorial debut. Margheriti helmed more than 50 films during his career, typically under the pseudonym Anthony Dawson, which he adopted soon after he realized the English translation of his real name was “Anthony Daisies.” Margheriti directed cult classics ranging from “Cannibal Apocalypse” (1980) to “Yor, the Hunter from the Future” (1983) and even helped direct “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein” (1973).
For a detailed look at life on a real space station, visit “Destination Station,” a free NASA exhibit on the second floor of the Museum. Destination Station highlights activities performed on NASA’s International Space Station and potential impacts the station has on our everyday lives. This exhibit runs through Astronomy Days (May 19-20).
The Museum stays open from 5 to 9 pm on the First Friday of every month, inviting visitors to witness a (classic) sci-fi or horror movie, wander through eye-catching exhibits, shop at the Museum Store, and enjoy snacks and beverages provided by the Daily Planet Café. This month, the Museum Store and Nature Art Gallery, now featuring “Period Pieces by Barbara Page,” stays open until 7pm but there will be no artist reception.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, located at 11 West Jones Street in downtown Raleigh, documents and interprets the natural history of the state of through exhibits, research, collections, publications and educational programming. Visit us online at naturalsciences.org. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm and Sunday, 12-5pm. General admission is free. The Museum is an agency of the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary.