Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

James S. McDonnell Planetarium Celebrates 50th Anniversary with First Director

By Carmelo Turdo
The James S. McDonnell Planetarium at the St. Louis Science Center is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a series of special events this month.  Tonight's event included an address by Charles Schweighauser, the first Planetarium Director and Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and Physics at University of Illinois, Springfield.  Following a reception and tour of the space program exhibits, the invited guests gathered to hear Schweighauser present a scholarly review of the progress made in the field of astronomy since 1963.  A 50th anniversary cake was also provided following the program.  Future anniversary events include: 

Astronomy Day
Date and Time:
Saturday, April 20; 10am to 4pm
There will be a Public Telescope Viewing in the evening from 7 to 10pm
Join the Saint Louis Science Center and members of the St. Louis Astronomical Society for fun astronomy activities. Learn about telescopes and how you can begin observing on your own.  If the weather permits, we will do Solar observing near the Planetarium entrance during the day. In the evening, we will observe the night sky on Archery Field, adjacent to the Planetarium parking lot.

July 20 To the Moon! Celebrate the anniversary of the moon landing and

launch a rocket!

August 2 First Friday: Update from Mars with Dr. Ray Arvidson

August 10 Planetarium Cheap Date Night: Perseid Meteor Shower

October 12 International Observe the Moon Night

November 4 Science with the Symphony

November 9 Planetarium Cheap Date Night: A Rare Eclipse

December 6 First Friday: Comet Watch Party
Here are some views of this evening's event:

President and CEO Bert Vescolani (R) greets Charles Schweighauser
Charles Schweighauser addresses the audience

James S. McDonnell Planetarium space exhibit
Mercury astronaut suits worn by Gus Grissom and Gordon Cooper*
Mercury and Gemini spacecraft on display


Mark Nankivil points out design features of the Planetarium**

*Mercury space suits are on loan from the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum
**Mark Nankivil is President of the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum

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