Thursday, March 26, 2015

Journey to Space at Reuben H.Fleet Science Center

We were delighted to be invited to the VIP film preview of Journey to Space at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.

The film was introduced by the fairly new CEO of the Fleet, the very charming and charismatic Steven Snyder. Originally from New York, he was funny and inspiring and is breathing life into the Fleet. He reminded us that we were at the California premier performance for what he called "a love letter to Mars' space exploration". He wants to use the the science center to excite and inspire a whole new generation of young of which could actually be on that first 34 million miles flight to Mars. Recently the Fleet hosted 6th and 7th graders for a video hook up with astronauts in space...can you imagine asking your questions about space to a space man in space. What at thrill for them. And he pointed out that the space race, although now an international collaboration, is still drawing crowds. For a recent launch that was cancelled, 200 people still showed up to the Fleet's live broadcast of the event. 

He ended with a charming story about President Obama chatting to a bus driver at NASA. Obama says, "So you drive a bus for NASA..."  The driver replies, "No, I am helping put a man on Mars."

Steven Snyder

My two science geeks, John Chambers and Darwin Slindee,  after we had indulged in Tang Astronaut Martini, delicious pasta, street tacos, a great cheese board and cookies and chocolate nut bars. The Fleet treats their VIPs right. A shoot out to John Bolthouse from the Water Conservation Garden who was caught in the middle of this photo.
I have included a short trailer about the movie which was stunningly filmed and very informative. This is one of the surround Giant Dome films at the  Heikoff Theater. I especially liked the stories about re-designing the  space suits to make them more mobile and the animation of the inflatable living space that will be created for this 2 1/2 year journey. The writer/director Mark Krenzien was present to answer questions at the end of the film. We learned about this giant 300 pounds cameras which hold 1000 feet of 70 mm film for only 3 minutes of footage at a time. Patrick Stuart (i.e. Captain Picard from Star Trek) was paid a huge amount to narrate a small part of the film and worked for only 3 hours. The film was 1/3 historical footage, 1/3 newly shot film and 1/3 special animation sequences. 

The length of the film, 42 minutes, was actually determined because Dome theaters around the county like to show their film on the hour. For me this was just long enough. My throat felt like it was stretched to breaking point by the end of the show as we were near the front and leaning back in our seats.  My advice is to sit near the top of the theater to get the full affect of the dome screen. I walked away in awe and recommend this experience to everyone, especially the youngest of our San Diego science enthusiast.


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