Year of the Solar System
Friday Night Show
September 9 - October 14, 2011
NASA is calling 2011 the "Year of the Solar System" to commemorate the unprecedented wave of space exploration projects they will embark upon. NASA sources say that there will be "triple the usual number of launches, flybys and orbital insertions. History will remember the period of Oct. 2010 through Aug. 2012 as a golden age of planetary exploration." (NASA Science News) In honor of these events, the Planetarium show will feature a presentation outlining some of NASA's future programs.
Much has already taken place in 2011: Stardust NExT encountered the comet Tempel 1, Dawn began its approach to the asteroid Vesta, MESSENGER entered its orbit around Mercury, and the spacecraft Juno has been launched to Jupiter.
In September, GRAIL will be launched to map the gravitational field of the moon, and a vehicular science lab called Curiosity will be launched to Mars, among many other projects. Join us as we explore these exciting new missions and learn about the stars and constellations of the night sky in Milwaukee.