RALEIGH, N.C., April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA will join the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences for the 24-hour grand opening celebration of the museum's new Nature Research Center here beginning at 5 p.m.April 20.
Retired astronaut and NASA's associate administrator for science, John Grunsfeld, will speak at the opening ceremony. Grunsfeld logged more than 58 days in space on five shuttle missions. He's also visited Hubble three times, performing a total of eight spacewalks to service and upgrade the observatory. Currently Grunsfeld oversees all planetary missions as well as the Hubble and future Webb telescopes.
According to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' website, the goal of the new 80,000 square-foot Nature Research Center is to " … bring research scientists and their work into the public eye and better prepare science educators and students as well as inspire a new generation of young scientists."
The free event is expected to attract 50,000. Visitors will experience interactive science and technology exhibits, such as touch tables, investigative labs, virtual tours, as well as exhibits about current science missions at NASA Langley's Research Center in Hampton, Va.