Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Former NASA Astronaut to Open New Wing of North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

In Raleigh, North Carolina, the world is taking shape at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. As part of their new Nature Research Center, the SECU Daily Planet, a immersive interactive presentation space, will showcase USGS Landsat Earth as Art images on the inside of the building as they display a massive Landsat mosaic on their brushed stainless steel dome outside. CREDIT: USGS/Joel Halverson

Raleigh, NC, USA (April 19, 2012) /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — NASA will join the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the 24-hour grand opening celebration of the museum’s new Nature Research Center here beginning at 5 p.m. April 20.

Retired astronaut and NASA’s associate administrator for science, John Grunsfeld, will speak at the opening ceremony. Grunsfeld logged more than 58 days in space on five shuttle missions. He’s also visited Hubble three times, performing a total of eight spacewalks to service and upgrade the observatory. Currently Grunsfeld oversees all planetary missions as well as the Hubble and future Webb telescopes.

According to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ website, the goal of the new 80,000 square-foot Nature Research Center is to ” … bring research scientists and their work into the public eye and better prepare science educators and students as well as inspire a new generation of young scientists.”

The free event is expected to attract 50,000. Visitors will experience interactive science and technology exhibits, such as touch tables, investigative labs, virtual tours, as well as exhibits about current science missions at NASA Langley’s Research Center in Hampton, Va.

For more details on the event, visit:

To learn more about NASA, visit

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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