New Space Laboratory Blasts Off at The New Detroit Science Center

Dedication to be Held Today at 10 a.m.

DETROIT, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ — 3 … 2 … 1 … blast off! The New Detroit Science Center and Congressman Joe Knollenberg today will launch the first phase of a new Space Laboratory at the Science Center. A special ribbon cutting ceremony with special student guests from Adler Elementary School will be held at 10 a.m.

“I am honored to join with The New Detroit Science Center today in opening the new Space Laboratory,” said Congressman Knollenberg. “Hands-on exhibits and experiences like those found here at the Science Center are what truly inspire children to explore how science can impact their daily lives and their futures. Inspiring future astronomers, physicists, explorers and innovators is so important to the future of Michigan’s workforce and economy.”

The new Space Laboratory will offer Science Center visitors fun, interactive exhibits that correlate to two themes from the Michigan Curriculum Framework — Content of the Universe and Scale of the Universe. The seven new exhibits in the Space Laboratory include:

* Hands on Telescopes — Can you find the “man in the moon?” Three telescopes positioned at varying heights will allow visitors to view a giant moon globe from across the Science Center and learn how astronomers use telescopes to study distant objects.

* Are We There Yet? — Visitors will pedal a bicycle at the speed of the space shuttle, 17,400 miles per hour! At this speed, how long will it take to reach the moon, Mars and beyond? You’ll have to pedal fast to find out!

* Solar System Distance Scale — Visitors will be able to position each planet the correct scale distance from the sun. Each day a beam of light will travel out from the sun at light speed along this 72-foot-scale, passing each planet in turn and reaching Pluto about five-and-a-half hours later.

* Our Place in Space — Glittering stars will float in three-dimensional space. These are the nearest stars to our sun. Visitors will interact with this exhibit by locating famous stars.

* ViewSpace/NASA link — A 6-foot-high by 11-foot-wide screen will display the newest images from the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, and will show live NASA launches and images from the International Space Station all in high definition video.

* How Much is a Billion? — Here’s your chance to find out in this fun exhibit with a billion grains of sand. Did you know that it would take a billion steps to walk to the moon and back?

* Objects in the Universe — Backlit images located on the exterior wall of the Dassault Systemes Planetarium will portray stunning pictures and the science of astronomical objects such as planets, nebula, galaxies and other objects. These images will change periodically to present new objects from the universe.

The new space laboratory was created with the support of Congressman Joe Knollenberg and funding from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The New Detroit Science Center features 110,000 square feet of scientific exploration, including Michigan’s only IMAX(R) Dome Theatre; the Dassault Systemes Planetarium; the Ford Learning Resource Center; the DTE Energy Sparks Theater; the DaimlerChrysler Science Stage; an 8,700 square-foot Science Hall for traveling exhibits; five exhibit laboratories — Space Laboratory, General Motors Motion Laboratory, Dow Foundation Life Sciences Laboratory, Waves & Vibrations Laboratory, and Jean and Sam Frankel Matter & Energy Laboratory; an SBC Children’s Gallery for pint-size scientists; and a Special Events Lobby. It has served more than 1.3 million visitors since its grand re-opening on July 28, 2001. For more information, please call 313-577-8400 or visit the website,

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