HAMPTON, Va., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The world's space race officially began 50 years ago with the launch of Russian Yuri Gagarin. Hampton Roads residents will have the chance to celebrate that and another historic space anniversary during "Yuri's Night" at the Virginia Air & Space Center on April 16, 2011, from 7 p.m. to midnight.
On April 12, 1961, Gagarin became the first human in outer space. Twenty years later, April 12, 1981, marked the launch of the first U.S. space shuttle. To celebrate these milestones of exploration, Yuri's Night combines an evening of entertainment with hands-on NASA activities designed to appeal to space enthusiasts of all ages. Similar parties in hundreds of cities on six continents will showcase space-inspired music, dance, costumes, science, engineering, technology and art.
Yuri's Night Hampton Roads' high-tech theme will focus on what is new at NASA and Hampton's NASA Langley Research Center. The five-hour party will feature a wide variety of performers, a "Mars"tini Lounge, dance demonstrations by Kick Rocks Crew, state-of-the-art exhibits highlighting NASA contributions, live performances by local reggae favorite Dharma Initiative and music mixed by Hampton Roads' DJ Jeyone.
Party-goers will also have the chance to learn how NASA technology affects their everyday lives. Guests can track their internal temperatures on a body heat map, view dramatic images of Earth from space and even drive a rover that is more than 3,000 miles away. NASA's Mindshift game technology will test the stress levels of anyone daring enough to attempt the video game, and even offer insight on how to control stress. To finish up their NASA exploration, Yuri's Night participants will be able to explore a lunar outpost concept.
Belly dancing by Neferteri, choreography from the DDP Drill Team and live painting demonstrations by artist Gerome Meminger will add a cultural element to the event. For science lovers, the Peninsula Astronomy Club will offer stargazing using state-of-the-art telescopes on the Virginia Air & Space Center's Observation Deck. And for those who like magic Krendl & Co. will engage visitors with illusions.
Local radio station personality James Steele will be on hand to emcee the event and play a few rounds of Rock Band, Space Camp Wii and more with participants. Other exhibits will offer a look at future gaming technologies and a cosmic Cornhole game. Guests who wear space-themed outfits will be eligible for prizes during a costume contest.
Tickets at $10 per person for Yuri's Night are on sale now. They are available in advance by calling 727-0900, extension 705 or on-line at http://www.yurihr.com. They will be $12 the day of the event. Food is included with admission and beverages are available for purchase. Yuri's Night is an event for those 18 and older.
Yuri's Night Hampton Roads is presented by NASA's Langley Research Center, Virginia Air & Space Center and Langley Federal Credit Union, with additional support from a number of private sponsors. The Virginia Air & Space Center is located at 600 Settlers Landing Road in downtown Hampton.
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