Bigger is better for Space Foundation
Expanded and renamed, the Space Foundation Discovery Center is open to the public this summer, with a different theme each of the coming 10 weeks and special events on Saturdays.
The first week is titled “Oceans of the Universe,” examining the similarities between space and deep sea exploration. Interactive opportunities Saturday, June 8 will include maneuvering remotely operated underwater vehicles, dissecting a squid, comparing SCUBA equipment with astronaut suits and digging for fossils and shells.
“The exhibits and activities we're offering this summer will interest anyone who enjoys science and space exploration,” said Iain Probert, the foundation's vice president of education and discovery. “Parents can share the excitement of discovery with their children, while seniors can relive the thrill of the early U.S. space missions.”
The center is on the ground floor of the Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate for the space industry, located off Garden of the Gods Road at 4425 Arrowswest Drive.
The facility is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily admission is $9 for adults, $7 for ages 65 and over and college students with I.D. and $3 for ages 4 to 17. Admission is free to military with I.D., to ages 3 and under and to holders of the Colorado Springs Together Card. Dollar-off coupons are available on the website: spacefoundation.org. The phone is 576-8000.
Last fall, the foundation opened a 9,000-square-foot space to the public as its “visitors center,” featuring the Northrop Grumman Science Center, with its high-tech Science on a Sphere (a permanent functionality); and the El Pomar Space Gallery, with a “Launch to the Moon” display of artifacts related to the U.S./Soviet “race to the Moon.”
In the months since, the foundation has renovated to create about 8,000 square feet of unwalled space just east of the Science Center and the gallery. This made room for the new Saturday activities, additional exhibits (some on loan, some from the foundation's collection) and a small reading/play area for younger children.
Among the added exhibits are:
The name changed from “Visitors Center” to “Discovery Center” at the direction of Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham. “Elliott chose the name, Discovery Center, to convey the educational aspect of the exhibits,” said Carol Hively, the foundation's director of public relations.
Future plans include an interactive teaching auditorium, educational units linked closely to school class requirements and a “Mars Yard/Robotics Lab” that will be set up with learning challenges for different ages and for virtual access.
“If you're interested in space, this center is unlike anything in the area,” Probert commented.
Other upcoming weekly themes are:
Started in 1983, the Space Foundation had been in a much smaller building on 14th Street until the move to Arrowswest in 2011.
Westside Pioneer article