NASA to Visit for First-Ever Community Day in Columbus May 6th

Staff Report From Columbus CEO

Monday, May 1st, 2017

More than a dozen guests from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center are taking over Columbus on Saturday, May 6 for “Columbus Goes to Mars,” a community-wide event aimed at exploring science, space and careers at NASA.

Guests will be able to meet NASA experts from America’s spaceport, participate in hands-on activities for all ages, and learn about the vast variety of careers available at NASA and in the STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). This event marks the first time NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has delivered their community day program outside of their home town of Titusville, Fla.

“The NASA/KSC team is extremely excited to bring a piece of the inspirational work of exploration to Columbus, Georgia,” said Joshua Santora, program specialist at the NASA/KSC PX-E Education Office. “We are grateful to our collaborators and hosts and can’t wait to share America’s space programs with the people of Muscogee County.”

Some of the NASA guests that will be in attendance include:

— Joshua Santora, KSC program specialist

— Jose Osvaldo Perez, senior project manager, Launch Pad 39A & B

— Rex Engelhardt, launch services program mission manager

— Lois Kim, visual strategist at JPL

— Lesley Fletcher, KSC deputy education chief

— Kevin Villa, system safety engineer

— Weiping Yu, engineer and physicist

— Jonathan J. Serrano Otero, aerospace technologist

Presentations and activities will be stationed at three local “launch” sites: CSU’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center, the National Infantry Museum, and the Columbus Museum, throughout the day. Attend activities at all three events, get your passport stamped, and receive a limited-edition commemorative coin (while supplies last).

A full list of NASA guests and a schedule of events have been added to the “Columbus Goes to Mars” website at www.ccssc.org/Columbusgoestomars.html. Admission to everything is free, but some events are ticketed. Please e-mail events@ccssc.org with questions.

“We are honored that NASA’s Kennedy Space Center thought of Columbus first when deciding to take their annual community day outside of Titusville,” said Shawn Cruzen, executive director of CSU’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center. “I’m excited about the multiple speakers talking about careers in STEM-related fields, science demonstrations, and fun educational activities this event will bring to Columbus.”


Friday, May 5: “Hidden Figures” at the National Infantry Museum
Panel discussion from 6-7 p.m. | Movie at 7:30 p.m.

On the evening of Friday, May 5, the National Infantry Museum will host a free, one-time-only screening of “Hidden Figures,” the Academy Award-nominated film based on the true story of a team of African-American female mathematicians who served a vital role at NASA during the early years of the US space program.

Before the film, at 6 p.m., a panel of experts will discuss their experiences working with the space program and their inspirations for pursuing a career in aeronautics. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission to both the panel discussion and the film is free. Concessions will be available for purchase during the event.


Saturday, May 6: “Columbus Goes to Mars,” 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Coca-Cola Space Science Center | The Columbus Museum | National Infantry Museum
Note: Activities at The Columbus Museum will conclude at 3 p.m.

Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, CCSSC, the Columbus Museum, and the National Infantry Museum will host family-friendly activities at all three locations, including:

— Expert presentations by engineers and educators from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

— Vesta mosaic art

— NASA’s PINK team robot

— “Humans in space” demonstrations

— Air rocket launches (supervised by the same people who launch real rockets into space)

— STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) presentations by local educators

— Professional teacher development workshops with NASA educators