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Home > July 2013 > SpaceFest Draws Thousands of Visitors to the Intrepid Museum
SpaceFest Draws Thousands of Visitors to the Intrepid Museum
Posted: 7/29/2013 10:34:32 AM


Over four days, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s Pier 86 transformed into an interactive festival full of space exploration, STEM education, robotics and technology, and history, for its 2nd annual SpaceFest, which wrapped up yesterday. Working with NASA, the Museum hosted current and former astronauts, space technicians, and even Star Wars and Star Trek characters throughout the event.

Other partners included the Amateur Astronomer’s Association of New York, 3D Systems, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Grove School of Engineering at CCNY, Honeybee Robotics, LEGO Mosaic Project, New Victory Theater, Pixel Academy, RoboFun, 501st Garrison, Madame Tussauds New York, Liberty Science Center, and Time Warner Cable’s Connect A Million Minds.


On Thursday, space enthusiasts, kids, and families strolled up and down the pier and spent time in the Museum’s Exploreum, which housed exhibits and displays from NASA, and the newly reopened Space Shuttle Pavilion on the Flight Deck. Astronaut Mario Runco gave a presentation on mankind's exploration efforts to venture out from our home planet, featuring captivating photos of the Earth and space, while aerospace technician Tim Keyser wowed visitors with his experience working on space shuttle Enterprise. Other astronauts were on hand, signing autographs and chatting with visitors throughout the day.

On the pier, kids played with robots made by FirstRobotics local robotics teams, families learned more about math with the Museum of Math’s Math Midway 2 Go, and brave individuals climbed the inflatable Coca-Cola wall. Education demonstrations and Tour Guide Talks took place throughout the day, and the weekend overall

The weather was perfect on Friday, as the Museum unveiled a space shuttle Enterprise model made entirely out of LEGOs.  The model of space shuttle Enterprise, created by LEGO Master Builder Ed Diment, was only on display at the Museum during SpaceFest. Throughout the day, visitors snapped their pictures with the LEGO Enterprise and helped create a LEGO Mosaic of an iconic picture of the space shuttle Enterprise.

Astronauts Ellen Baker and Jeffrey Hoffman spoke in the Intrepid Museum’s Lutnick Theater about their time in space.  Hoffman described the work it took to prepare space shuttles for trips into space and showed photos of shuttles in various states of repair and preparedness at the Kennedy Space Center. Baker gave a peek into the life of an astronaut at the International Space Station, explaining how astronauts exercise, eat, and sleep in space. Both spoke about how astronauts have to practice and prepare for their tasks and missions in space, including how they would test out the space suits underwater to imitate what it is like to be weightless in space.

NASA continued to have a great presence at SpaceFest, with information about Mars Rover, the International Space Station, and human space exploration, and presentations about aeronautics, the space telescope, and how NASA technology is used in race cars.


Friday evening, Trekkies came out in droves to see a free screening of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), and Saturday evening was a time for professional and amateur astronomers to view the summer sky during Intrepid’s 3rd Astronomy Night. Partners continued to keep Pier 86 busy, and Star Trek and Star Wars characters roamed the Museum, taking pictures with guests.

The weekend brought even more families and visitors to the event, both to visit the Museum and participate in the free events on Pier 86. For the astronaut presentations during the weekend, Lee Morin gave a presentation about how the team built the International Space Station, and Charles Camarda spoke about what it was like to be on the first space shuttle mission after the Columbia disaster.


While many people enjoyed this special annual event, the Intrepid Museum’s Space Shuttle Pavilion is open daily, allowing for visitors to learn more about NASA and the space program, and see space shuttle Enterprise up close.

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