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The Da Vinci Science Center will commemorate the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing with special visitor presentations and exclusive interactive programs with two former NASA Astronauts – including the first African-American in space, a native of Philadelphia, Pa.
The 45th Moon Landing Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, July 20, 2014, from 12-5 p.m. also will feature the Center’s hosting of the feature exhibition Space: A Journey to Our Future – which is presented in collaboration with NASA.
Former NASA Astronaut Terry Hart, now a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., will make an in-person presentation and answer visitor questions starting at 1:30 p.m. Former NASA Astronaut Guion Bluford, Ph.D. – a native of Philadelphia, Pa., and the first African-American in space – will speak about his experiences in space and answer questions via the Skype video service exclusively to Da Vinci Science Center visitors starting at 2:30 p.m.
Additional presentations scheduled to take place throughout the afternoon include the following:
“The Da Vinci Science Center is very fortunate to be hosting the blockbuster Space exhibition, which NASA helped create, during the summer in which America celebrates the 45th anniversary of the first moon landing,” said Lin Erickson, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO. “We are proud to commemorate this transcendent moment in our nation’s history by providing our visitors special and exclusive experiences that feature innovative people and groups who have powered America’s epic history of space exploration and those who intend to extend that legacy into the future.”
A former Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, Hart was a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger in April 1984 when he shot breathtaking footage featured in the 1985 IMAX film The Dream Is Alive. Hart was with NASA from 1978-1984 and was a long-time project partner with Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel into space. A Pennsylvania native and Lehigh University alumnus, Hart is also an accomplished engineer, telecommunications executive, and educator. Hart served President of Loral Skynet, a satellite communications company in Bedminster, N.J., before joining Lehigh’s faculty in 2004.
Bluford – a graduate of Overbook High School in Philadelphia – is a former Colonel in the United States Air Force who flew 65 combat missions over North Vietnam. Bluford earned a doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and served at the base as a Development Engineer and division chief for several years. Bluford joined NASA in 1979 and made history on Aug. 30, 1983, by becoming the first African-American in space as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. Bluford also was a mission specialist aboard the Challenger’s last successful mission in Nov. 1985 and on missions aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1991 and 1992. After retiring from NASA in 1993, Bluford held various leadership positions in the aerospace industry before assuming his current position as President of the Aerospace Technology Group, an engineering consulting firm outside Cleveland, Ohio.
Sponsored at the Da Vinci Science Center by Air Products and the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation, Space brings the epic and innovative story of space exploration to life. The exhibition’s Da Vinci Science Center appearance is its first in the northeastern United States. Highlights include exploring a future Lunar Base Camp as they walk through a full-size space habitat and work pod, touching real rocks from the Earth’s moon and Mars, taking a spin on a centrifuge that they can power like a bicycle, getting an up-close look at a wide range of artifacts and displays on the new spacecraft that will takes humanity back to the moon and beyond, and exploring the past, present, and future of space through breathtaking displays and interactive experiences.
All activities and presentations, the Space exhibition, and access to the entire Da Vinci Science Center exhibit floor will be available on July 20 with the Center’s Summer Admission and available for free for Center members. Tickets can be purchased at the Center on that day on in advance for July 20 on the web at davincisciencecenter.org/tickets.