Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Meet a NASA Astronaut at WonderWorks

Pigeon Forge, the Smoky Mountains vacation destination in eastern Tennessee, will be hosting a special NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) themed exhibit from October 5 - 8, 2017 at the WonderWorks edu-tainment center.  If have an interest in astronomy and space travel this is an event you aren't going to want to miss.  The exhibit at the indoor park that combines amusement with educational opportunities will feature scaled models of spacecraft and a virtual reality experience of NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System.  There will also be artifacts such as a real moon rock that people can touch on display plus a chance to meet and talk with former space shuttle astronaut Captain Robert "Hoot" Gibson.

Captain Gibson will be at WonderWorks on Saturday, October 7, 2017.  He will have meet and greet sessions from 11 am to Noon, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm and from 3:00 - 4:00 pm where he will answer questions, pose for photos and give autographs.  Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson served as a NASA astronaut from 1979 until 1996 and is a veteran of five space shuttle flights. He has logged more than 36 days in space, including having commanded the first docking of the space shuttle to the Russian space station Mir. Captain Gibson is also a graduate of the TOPGUN Navy Fighter Weapons School.

The NASA exhibit will also feature The Exploration Systems virtual tour which allows participants to experience the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft up close as they sit on the mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center. Users will be transported to Launchpad 39B where they will receive a brief overview of the different components that make up the most powerful rocket ever built, the SLS. Once the overview is complete, they will then be placed inside an Orion Spacecraft virtual environment prior to launch. Guest will be able to take and print a photo of themselves in a spacesuit with either an SLS, Orion, Mars rover, or International Space Station background. Being able to touch an actual moon rock acquired during the Apollo 17 missions also provides a once in a lifetime experience while attending this special temporary exhibit at WonderWorks.

For more information about the event and to inquire about pricing please visit  Register to attend this event in advance on the WonderWorks website to receive a FREE Mission Complete Patch or other cool gift with your paid admission to this special exhibit (while supplies last). In addition to this special exhibit, WonderWorks which bills itself as an amusement park for the mind, has over 100 hands-on science exhibits, a magic show, an imagination lab, a physical challenge area, a far out art gallery and a light and sound special effects zone.  WonderWorks is open 365 days a year from 10 am to 9pm.  Check out the "visit" section of  their website for travel directions, an online discount on ticket prices, and a downloadable tourist brochure.

** Photos provided courtesy of WonderWorks Pigeon Forge Tennessee **

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