SPACE FESTIVAL – April 12-14
A mobile planetarium, space-themed movies at the Rio Grande Theatre and a full-size replica of SpaceShipTwo in downtown Las Cruces will all be a part of the first Las Cruces Space Festival.
The theme for the state’s first space festival will be “Making Space for Everyone.’
On Thursday, April 12, events will be geared toward children and families in a celebration of the anniversary of human space flight.
Events will take place on the New Mexico State University campus and will include a mobile planetarium and a tech center featuring a space flight simulation.
There will also be educational NMSU Space Talks and stargazing.
On Friday, April 13, a Space Showcase at Mesilla Valley Mall will offer an opportunity for budding astronauts, curious minds and science buffs to interact with and ask questions from experts in space travel, aerospace and space exploration.
The evenings of the first two days will also include free space-themed movies at the Rio Grande Theater on Main Street.
On Saturday, April 14, a range of interactive events will take place on the Plaza de Las Cruces and surrounding locations in the downtown area.
Virgin Galactic will bring a full-size replica of their suborbital SpaceShipTwo to the Albert Johnson Park, adjacent to Las Cruces City Hall. Myriad handson activities will be provided by ¡explora!, Insights El Paso Science Center, Asombro and Cruces Creative, among others. Experts from the Space Showcase will be back on-hand to interact with attendees. The NMSU Atomic Aggies Rocket Club will display their competition rocket, New Mexico Space Grant will display its high altitude weather balloon used to observe the recent solar eclipse.
There will be at least two Challenger Center Missions, including one open to adult members of the public for the first time, and a space pickleball game in the afternoon, plus a ‘space walk,’ in which participants are encouraged to dress in their best space or alien costumes.
Festival organizers are also aiming to set up a space tour from Las Cruces to Spaceport America. KTAL 101.5 Community Radio in Las Cruces will broadcast special features and interviews throughout the week of the festival.