The Second Annual Las Cruces Space Festival launches April 7th

The Las Cruces Space Festival launches for a second year at Spaceport America on April 7th. The Festival promises to ‘make space for everyone’, providing free activities for people of all ages and interests throughout the week-long Festival. Schedules are available for the entire week of events.

The Festival will launch at Spaceport America with an ‘Open House’. There will be fly-ins from 40 aircraft, and an opportunity to meet the teams working at Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic’s Astronaut Pilot, and former NASA Astronaut CJ Sturckow, will be talking about the company’s successful run of test flights and recently earning his Commercial Astronaut wings. ‘Genesis’ artist Otto Rigan will be revisiting his 40-foot tall sculpture that will greet visitors at the Spaceport entrance. Assistant Director of Operations at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Dr. Mark McKinnon, will be presenting an update on the work conducted at the Very Large Array and plans for the future. There will be lots of hands-on activities to entertain all ages including a chance to build and launch rockets. Registration closes on April 4th.

Simulated missions to Mars at the Las Cruces Challenger Learning Center are now open for registration. There will be seven missions available throughout the festival and advanced registration is required as places are limited. Missions are recommended for children aged eight and up and adults of all ages.

The Festival is proud to include keynote talks and presentations from over twenty leading space experts from local and international organizations throughout the week. This ‘Talks Series’ is specifically designed to inspire and support young people in the region to pursue STEM education, by showcasing over the week a wide range of achievement and interesting information, as well setting out future opportunities, both from a subject knowledge and career standpoint. The talks will also be of interest to a general audience, and all are welcome.

‘Our Place In Space- Las Cruces’ launched with a ‘live art’ workshop on the Plaza de Las Cruces on Saturday March 23rd, with local artists producing work inspired by images captured by the Hubble Telescope. The art created will be displayed alongside large-scale Hubble images throughout the City in the ‘Our Place In Space- Las Cruces’ exhibition, which will open on Monday April 8th. ESA Hubble Space Telescope Project Scientist, Dr. Antonella Nota, will be delivering an address on ‘Our Place In Space’ at the Southwest Environmental Center at 6.45pm on Monday April 8th.

Tim Fitzpatrick, Artist in Residence for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in New Mexico, will be creating site specific art on the landscape at several local sites during the week as part of his installation ‘Hand Made Light‘. You will be able to hear about his exhibitions during his presentation on Monday April 8th at the Southwest Environmental Center.

Think you know space? Challenge yourself at the Big Space Quiz on April 10th at the Game Bar and Grill on Espina from 7pm. 2018’s champions achieved an astounding 100% accuracy.

Making Contact at the Las Cruces Convention Center will run from 11am-7pm on Thursday April 11th. Representatives from NASA, White Sands Missile Range, Virgin Galactic, Spaceport America, Jacobs Technology and other space-related organizations will be on hand to showcase the growing space industry in New Mexico. This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in learning more about space-related career fields and what paths to take to achieve success. The event, suitable for a general audience, will also host several talks by industry experts including a presentation by NASA Mars Rover Scientist Dr. James Rice.

A ‘live’, staged reading of a new and original TV pilot script currently in development will be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center on Thursday, April 11th at 7pm. ‘Way Beyond’ will be performed by some of New Mexico’s top acting talent. After the reading, there will be a behind-the-scenes Q&A with writer Bill True, producer Chris Davies (VP of Television at Echo Lake Entertainment), and talent.

We have a strong line-up of events at the Rio Grande Theatre. On top of the five classic space movies spread across the week, we will also be featuring presentations by Chris Churchill on Thursday April 11th ahead of the movie ‘Contact’ and NMSU Graduate, Alires Almon on Friday April 12th alongside excerpts from plays ‘Yuri‘ and ‘Silent Sky’.

Also on Friday April 12th, downtown Las Cruces will be celebrating Yuri’s Night. The ‘Space Walk‘ will be lots of fun for the family, come dressed as your favorite space character, real or imaginary, the more adventurous costumes on display the better on the Plaza de Las Cruces. ‘Live’ music will follow, provided on the Plaza stage by local band ‘Triple Jack’.

Want to escape the noise and the crowds? Two stargazing parties are being held on Friday April 12th; one at White Sands National Monument, and one at Dripping Springs in the Organ Mountains where the NMSU Astronomy department and the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces will guide visitors to get the best views of star constellations and distant galaxies.

The Las Cruces Space Festival is all about ‘making space for everyone’. On Saturday April 13th there will be tons of interactive exhibitions and booths on the Plaza de Las Cruces from 10am-2pm. Younger audiences will also be entertained by WALL-E at the Rio Grande Theatre at noon, followed by Science Girl’s Laboratory.

Yuri’s Night events will also be held in Truth or Consequences on Saturday April 13th with a space-themed Second Saturday Art Hop.

For a full schedule of all the events and speakers, please visit the interactive calendar on the homepage of our website.