June 2019 Super Stellar Friday Recap - Chasing the Moon

McAuliffe--Shepard Discovery Center Staff interact wtih PBS Staff

McAuliffe--Shepard Discovery Center Staff interact wtih PBS Staff

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center hosts screening of July PBS documentary

On Friday night, June 7th at 7 p.m., as part of the Super Stellar Friday series, the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center and NH PBS offered a sneak peek at Episode 7 of Chasing the Moon, the special new PBS series created to commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The special showing was followed by a discussion led by Dr. Andrew Jordan, lunar researcher at the University of New Hampshire. Chasing the Moon by Robert Stone premieres on PBS July 8th. In early July, viewers may also catch some footage of New Hampshire students at the Discovery Center in a local companion program.

Q&A with UNH lunar researcher

Nearly 52 attendees of all ages learned about the final steps for NASA incredible efforts and teamwork it took to go from Alan Shepard’s first 15-minute suborbital flight to a quarter million mile journey to Earth’s moon and safely home.

In discussion with the audience following the screening, Dr. Andrew Jordan, lunar researcher for the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Crater Experiment, described his research into cosmic radiation and some of the challenges for longer-term space flight and exploration. He also answered a number of questions, including what can be done to protect astronauts from cosmic radiation, how the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter moves around the moon, and how water is supplied during space missions. Because astronauts must bring water with them for the trip and water is so heavy, researchers are looking for water sources on the moon, for example in ice pockets.   Scientists are still working on finding solutions to protect astronauts from cosmic radiation.

Some audience members wondered about the future of space travel. Will  we ever have a moon colony? Scientists are still researching and designing plans, but Discovery Center visitors will be able to see some of this technology in a new exhibit, coming in July!

Viewing the Friday night sky

Visitors were guided through viewing the night’s sky by the NH Astronomical Society outside with telescopes, even spotting Jupiter. Education staff running the observatory focused on the moon and craters that could be seen on the moon, despite most being covered by clouds.

Missed this Super Stellar Friday? Super Stellar Friday is always the first Friday of the month, with an all-inclusive admission cost for the program, panel discussion and exploration of the Discovery Center’s exhibits is $13.50 for adults, $12.50 for students and seniors, $8.50 for children and free for members. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The Discovery Center will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing on Saturday, July 20th, with a day of activities.

About The Author -

Linds Jakows is the Visitor Services Manager at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.