STS-120 mission specialist Doug Wheelock participated in the third scheduled spacewalk as construction continued on the International Space Station. During the spacewalk, Wheelock and (pictured) installed the P6 truss segment with its set of solar arrays to its permanent home and installed a spare main bus switching. Photo: NASA.

NASA Astronaut Doug “Wheels” Wheelock

Will be appearing in the WRAL 3D Theater

Saturday
11:00am & 1:00pm

Sunday
1:00pm


Saturday – SECU Daily Planet

Warrego Valles on Mars

10:00am: From Earth to the Stars: The Search for Life in the Universe
Dr. Rachel Smith, NC Museum of Natural Sciences/Appalachian State University
Beginning with some of Earth’s most extreme environments, come on a “live” journey as we discuss the scientific search for life beyond Earth! Using a combination of new interactive software called OpenSpace to “fly” us through space using real NASA data sets, and slides from her observations of forming stars, you will travel from our planet to potentially habitable worlds in the solar system, and then to the stars beyond as we consider the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

OpenSpace demo

11:00am: Inner Solar System Worlds
Dr. Carter Emmart, American Museum of Natural History
The four planets of the Inner Solar System, plus the Moon, seem very diverse, but planetary science shows us how much they compare.  Using OpenSpace to visualize each we will explore them close up to see how similar they in fact are.

noon: How to See a Star Explode From Underground
Dr. Kate Scholberg, Duke University
When a massive star reaches the end of its life, it collapses and then explodes as a supernova, which can shine as brightly as an entire galaxy for a brief time. Right before the explosion, the collapsed star emits a brilliant (but almost invisible) flash of neutrinos, particles that can fly through matter as if it were transparent. Scholberg will describe how we can catch some of these neutrinos in vast underground detectors.

1:00pm : What Do the Ocean Floors of Icy Satellites Look Like?
Dr. Paul Byrne, North Carolina State University
The icy satellites orbiting Jupiter and Saturn are of enormous scientific interest because they may host the three ingredients thought crucial for life: liquid water, organic molecules, and energy. But the ocean floors of these enigmatic worlds, where all three ingredients might interact, are barely understood. In this presentation, Byrne will review what little we do know of these alien seafloors, and what that means for the prospect of life within ocean worlds.

Rosetta: Rendezvous With a Comet. Image: European Space Agency

2:00pm: The Rosetta Mission: Comets and the Origin of Life on Earth
Dr. Murthy S. Gudipati, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
The origin of life on Earth is an outstanding puzzle for humanity. One of the many theories of the origin of life postulates that about 4 billion years ago, asteroids and comets bombarded Earth, delivering the precursors of life and triggering the chemical evolution of life on Earth. The recent Rosetta mission found large quantities of organic molecules from the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, including the amino acid Glycine, indicating that the building blocks of life were already present in comets before they bombarded early Earth. This talk is generously supported by North Carolina Space Grant.North Carolina Space Grant (logo)

4:00pm: The Moon Today and Tomorrow
Doug Lively, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
In Celebration of Apollo 11’s historic we take a look at the Moon and discuss what we new about it in 1969, What we’ve learned since, and plans for future exploration.

 

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Saturday – Windows on the World

11:00am: Science as a Window into the Past, Present and Future
Lucas R. Smith, Robert D. Lewis, Appalachian State University
Our presenters will discuss the importance of scientific thought and how it has led to valuable insights into our understanding of the Universe, from the formation of the solar system to the Big Bang, as well as innovations in modern technology. They will also share some details on their recent experiments at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that explored early carbon chemistry. This presentation targets all levels of students in STEM and will include a few exciting physics demonstrations!

1:30pm: Animals of the Constellations
Linda Saah, Museum Educator, NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Learn about the history of constellations and meet some of the Museum’s live ambassador animals that represent some of the most well-known constellations!

2:30pm: Animals of the Constellations
Linda Saah, Museum Educator, NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Learn about the history of constellations and meet some of the Museum’s live ambassador animals that represent some of the most well-known constellations!

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Saturday – 4th Floor, NRC: Saturn Room

OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft
10:00am: OSIRIS-REx: Grabbing a Sample From an Asteroid
Jeff Qualls, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
OSIRIS-REx is now in orbit of the asteroid Bennu, and the prime and backup sites for sample selection have recently been announced. This talk will provide an update of this mission.

11:00am: Why Explore Space?
Michael Keefe, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador & Raleigh Astronomy Club Member
Join us to learn about the history of NASA and space exploration, as well as about the benefits derived from the space program in environmental technologies, economics, healthcare and technology. Discover the real costs of exploring space especially as compared to other options we, as a society, have in terms of allocating our resources.

noon: The Oceans, By Jove!
Matthew Funke NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
We thought water was rare in the Solar System; it turns out that many of the large moons of the outer planets have oceans!  Learn about plans to explore them, and the hints life on Earth gives us about possible life there.

1:00pm: 2019 in Space
Tony Rice, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
A review of events in spaceflight, astronomy and planetary science. From groundbreaking lunar exploration by China and India to asteroid encounters near and far as well.  We’ll also talk steps taken to returning launching humans into space from US soil and what to expect in 2020.

2:00pm : Human Spaceflight 2020
Marc Fusco, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
A look at the current state of US human spaceflight, including SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Starship, Boeing’s Starliner, and NASA’s Orion spacecraft.  2020 will see a revolutionary advance in US human spaceflight capabilities.

3:00pm : Extreme Exoplanets
Ian Hewitt, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
We have found thousands of planets around other stars and some of these planets are very strange and exotic places. Come learn about some of the weird worlds that have been found.

4:00pm: Our Blue Marble: Observing Earth From Space
Sarah Taylor, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and learn about the history of observing Earth from space and how you can get involved through citizen science observation projects.

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Saturday – 4th Floor, NRC: Uranus Room

Rocket engines
10:30am: Rocket Engines! Present and Future
Alan Rich, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Monster rocket engines of today and what’s coming in the future to take us deeper and faster into space.

11:30am: Deadly Spheres: The Top 10 Ways the Solar System Can Kill, Maim or Really, Really Hurt You!
Doug Lively, Raleigh Astronomy Club
Death rains from above in this exhilarating overview of the dangers lurking within our own Solar System.

Rover on Mars
12:30pm: Mars 2020 – Our Next Mars Robot!  An Interactive Panel Discussion
Alan Rich & Marc Fusco, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors
A panel of NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors host an informal discussion about our next Mars robot, Mars 2020, with YOU. Ask the experts anything you want!

1:30pm : Why E.T. Can’t Phone Home – A Discussion of the Fermi Paradox and Great Filters
Doug Lively, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador & Raleigh Astronomy Club Member
This presentation will concentrate on the Fermi Paradox, Great Filters, the possibilities of life in our Galaxy and why it may or may not be able to communicate with us.

2:30pm: Behind the Scenes of Artemis: NASA’s Return to the Moon
Tony Rice, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Join NASA Ambassador Tony Rice for behind-the-scenes stories and images of the Artemis program and the first Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from its construction at the Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans to its testing at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

3:30pm: SpaceX and Commercial Space
Marc Fusco, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
A look at this year’s exciting developments in the commercial space industry, with a focus on SpaceX, Blue Origin and Orbital Sciences, as well as the Commercial Crew projects.

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Saturday – 4th Floor, NRC: Neptune Room

10:00am: Finding Atmospheres, Water, and Life on Exoplanets
Ian Hewitt, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Traveling to explore exoplanets is not on the short-term horizon, but astronomers have ways of identifying the characteristics of planets around other stars.  Come learn about how we can learn about these faraway worlds.

Artemis mission logo, Moon and Mars
11:00am: Artemis: The Next Generation of Human Spaceflight
Shawn D. Bayle, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Riding on the wings of Apollo’s twin sister, the largest rocket ever built will propel humans back to the Moon and beyond to Mars. This talk will explore the technology and plan for the most ambitious spaceflight program ever undertaken.

Enceladus close flyby
noon: Enceladus: Saturn’s Most “Habitable” Moon
Shawn D. Bayle, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Enceladus’s water volcanoes stunned scientists when they were “accidentally” discovered. The amazing discovery led Cassini mission planners to redirect the mission plan for more detailed observations which discovered an abundance of liquid water. This presentation will detail the discovery timeline, results, and how our view of our solar system has forever been changed.

BRUIE rover
1:00pm: BRUIE: An Underwater Rover That May Explore the Ocean Moons of Saturn and Jupiter
Jeff Qualls, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
NASA is testing an experimental underwater buoyant rover that can explore the area under thick ice sheets where the ice meets water. If these tests are successful, we may be able to use this technology to explore the oceans underneath the ice on moons such as Enceladus and Europa.

2:00pm: Saturn V: The Rocket That Took Us to The Moon
Michael P. Keefe, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
The Saturn V is the most powerful rocket ever built.  Learn about the development of the Saturn V and how it delivered our astronauts to the moon.

3:00pm: Alien Chemistry
Matthew Funke, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
What if life had a different biochemistry? Titan might be just the place to find out – it seems to hold the building blocks for a biochemistry much like Earth’s, but at very, very low temperatures.

4:00pm: From Nano to Galactic
Ron Monti, Raleigh Astronomy Club
The scale of sizes in our Universe spans an incredible 62 orders of magnitude! How can we possibly comprehend such a wide range? Come and discover some learning tools that we can use to help grasp the sizes, quantities and time spans of the scientific world.

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Saturday – 4th Floor, NRC: Pluto Room

10:30am: Exploring Exoplanets with Citizen Science
Ken Brandt, M Ed, Robeson Planetarium and Science Center
Would you like to do real science, using real data? Learn how to use the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) data to discover exoplanets! Please bring your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to this session.

11:30am: Space Networking, How NASA Communicates with Spacecraft from Low Earth Orbit to Beyond the Solar System
Tony Rice, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
You’ve probably seen astronauts speaking live from the International Space Station and beautiful images sent by the Mars rovers, but how do these things work? We’ll look at NASA’s network of Tracking and Data Relay Satellites and Deep Space Network, how they enable us to hear “whispers from space,” and how you can monitor them at home!

3:30pm: Astronomy Without a Telescope
Tony Rice, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
The first question many who are new to astronomy ask is “what telescope should I buy?” But you don’t need a telescope to get started.  You’ll learn about all there is to observe with just the naked eye and ways explore even deeper into the the night sky without investing in an expensive telescope that might end up under a bed or in a closet.

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Sunday – SECU Daily Planet

OpenSpace demo

12:30pm: Inner Solar System Worlds
Dr. Carter Emmart, American Museum of Natural History
The four planets of the Inner Solar System, plus the Moon, seem very diverse, but planetary science shows us how much they compare. Using OpenSpace to visualize each we will explore them close up to see how similar they in fact are.

1:30pm: Shedding Some Light on Black Holes
Dr. Patrick Treuthardt, NC Museum of Natural Sciences

2:30pm: Europa Clipper Mission: Assessing Habitability of Europa, Jupiter’s Icy Moon
Dr. Murthy S. Gudipati, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Europa is one of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter and it has more water than exists on Earth. Its surface is presently estimated to be covered by a several kilometers-thick layer of water-ice. With the task of assessing Europa’s habitability, the Europa Clipper mission is gearing up with several instruments dedicated to determining the interior, surface, and atmospheric composition of Europa. This talk is generously supported by North Carolina Space Grant.

North Carolina Space Grant (logo)

3:30pm: The Astronomer Who Came in from the Cold
Dr. Dan Caton, Dark Sky Observatory, Appalachian State University
Astronomers no longer are out in the cold at night. In this presentation we will look at the evolution of astronomical observing, from the cold to warm control rooms, to remote and automatic observing.

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Sunday – Windows on the World

1:00pm: Science as a Window into the Past, Present and Future
Lucas R. Smith, Robert D. Lewis  Appalachian State University
Our presenters will discuss the importance of scientific thought and how it has led to valuable insights into our understanding of the Universe, from the formation of the solar system to the Big Bang, as well as innovations in modern technology. They will also share some details on their recent experiments at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory that explored early carbon chemistry. This presentation targets all levels of students in STEM and will include a few exciting physics demonstrations!

2:30pm: Animals of the Constellations
Linda Saah, Museum Educator, NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Learn about the history of constellations and meet some of the Museum’s live ambassador animals that represent some of the most well-known constellations!

3:00pm: Animals of the Constellations
Linda Saah, Museum Educator, NC Museum of Natural Sciences
Learn about the history of constellations and meet some of the Museum’s live ambassador animals that represent some of the most well-known constellations!

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Sunday — 4th Floor, NRC: Saturn Room

OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft
12:30pm: OSIRIS-REx: Grabbing a Sample From an Asteroid
Jeff Qualls, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
OSIRIS-REx is now in orbit of the asteroid Bennu, and the prime and backup sites for sample selection have recently been announced. This talk will provide an update of this mission.

2:00pm: Why Explore Space?
Michael Keefe, NASA/JPL Volunteer & Raleigh Astronomy Club Member
Join us to learn about the history of NASA and space exploration, as well as about the benefits derived from the space program in environmental technologies, economics, healthcare and technology. Discover the real costs of exploring space especially as compared to other options we, as a society, have in terms of allocating our resources.

3:00pm: A Scientist Goes to the Movies
Marc Fusco, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Join us for a humorous look at the good and bad science in recent space movies.

4:00pm: The Oceans, By Jove!
Matthew Funke,NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
We thought water was rare in the Solar System; it turns out that many of the large moons of the outer planets have oceans!  Learn about plans to explore them, and the hints life on Earth gives us about possible life there.

Top of page


Sunday — 4th Floor, NRC: Uranus Room

12:30pm: Finding Atmospheres, Water, and Life on Exoplanets
Ian Hewitt, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Traveling to explore exoplanets is not on the short-term horizon, but astronomers have ways of identifying the characteristics of planets around other stars.  Come learn about how we can learn about these faraway worlds.

1:30pm: 2019 in Space
Tony Rice, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
A review of events in spaceflight, astronomy and planetary science. From groundbreaking lunar exploration by China and India to asteroid encounters near and far as well.  We’ll also talk steps taken to returning launching humans into space from US soil and what to expect in 2020.

2:30pm: Deadly Spheres: The Top 10 Ways the Solar System Can Kill, Maim or Really, Really Hurt You!
Doug Lively, Raleigh Astronomy Club
Death rains from above in this exhilarating overview of the dangers lurking within our own Solar System.

Rover on Mars

3:30pm: Mars 2020 – Our Next Mars Robot!  An Interactive Panel Discussion
Alan Rich, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
A panel of NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassadors host an informal discussion about our next Mars robot, Mars 2020, with YOU.  Ask the experts anything you want!

Top of page


Sunday – 4th Floor, NRC: Neptune Room

1:00pm: Alien Chemistry
Matthew Funke, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
What if life had a different biochemistry?  Titan might be just the place to find out – it seems to hold the building blocks for a biochemistry much like Earth’s, but at very, very low temperatures.

Rocket engines

2:00pm: Rocket Engines! Present and Future
Alan Rich, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Monster rocket engines of today and what’s coming in the future to take us deeper and faster into space.

Enceladus close flyby

3:00pm: Enceladus: Saturn’s Most “Habitable” Moon
Shawn D. Bayle, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
Enceladus’s water volcanoes stunned scientists when they were “”accidentally”” discovered. The amazing discovery led Cassini mission planners to redirect the mission plan for more detailed observations which discovered an abundance of liquid water. This presentation will detail the discovery timeline, results, and how our view of our solar system has forever been changed.

BRUIE rover

4:00pm: BRUIE: An Underwater Rover That May Explore the Ocean Moons of Saturn and Jupiter
Jeff Qualls, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
NASA is testing an experimental underwater buoyant rover that can explore the area under thick ice sheets where the ice meets water. If these tests are successful, we may be able to use this technology to explore the oceans underneath the ice on moons such as Enceladus and Europa.

Top of page


Sunday – 4th Floor, NRC: Pluto Room

12:30pm: Exploring Exoplanets With Citizen Science
Ken Brandt, M Ed, Robeson Planetarium and Science Center
Would you like to do real science, using real data? Learn how to use the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) data to discover exoplanets! Please bring your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to this session.

1:30pm: From Nano to Galactic
Ron Monti, Raleigh Astronomy Club
The scale of sizes in our Universe spans an incredible 62 orders of magnitude! How can we possibly comprehend such a wide range? Come discover some learning tools that we can use to help grasp the sizes, quantities and time spans of the scientific world.

2:30pm: Extreme Exoplanets
Ian Hewitt, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador
We have found thousands of planets around other stars and some of these planets are very strange and exotic places.  Come learn about some of the weird worlds that have been found.

Top of page


3D Movie Schedule

Tickets: $5 Adults; $4 Seniors, Students, & Military; $3 Children (3-12); $2 Members. Purchase tickets onsite at the Museum Box Office. All of our movies are about thirty minutes in length, and appropriate for most ages.

Saturday

  • 10am: Journey to Space
  • 3pm: Journey to Space
  • 4pm: Journey to Space

Sunday

  • 3pm: Journey to Space
  • 4pm: Journey to Space

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