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There is no doubt that May the Fourth has been dubbed as Star Wars Day; a day for fans to celebrate their love for the biggest movie series of all time. Although it has mostly been an inside joke for the fans, the first time that most people connected the day with the films dates back to 1979 when Britain’s Conservative Party put out a full-page advert reading “May the Fourth Be With You, Maggie.” Coincidentally, Maggie Thatcher officially became the Prime Minister on May 4th that year.
Star Wars uses science and technology in its settings and timelines and has showcased technological concepts both in movies and expanded universe of novels and comics. There have been many times NASA and the Star Wars franchise have crossed paths. For example, the lightsaber prop that was used by Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi spent two weeks in orbit aboard the spacecraft Discovery during mission STS-120, and astronauts aboard the ISS are also sometimes seen having a quiet night watching the series.
This May the Fourth, learn more about the Star Wars night sky guided by your Stardome Jedi Master. A special Star Wars themed planetarium show has been produced, which will take visitors on a journey through our Milky Way to galaxies far, far away.
Friday 4 May, 6:30pm, 8pm & 9:30pm, $25 adult, $15 child. Bookings essential. www.stardome.org.nz/show/may-the-fourth-2/
A Special Stardome Mother’s Day. In 1962, a young girl by the name of Anna Lee watched Alan Shepard become the first American in space. Although it seemed like it could only be a dream, from that moment she too wanted to become an astronaut. During this time, American women astronauts were nowhere to be seen and she felt as if she was perhaps born too soon and almost gave up on the dream. However, in the 1970s, NASA’s Space Shuttle Program started to take shape and for the first time, women were given the opportunity to apply.
Anne, along with five other women, were accepted into the programme and in 1983, she was assigned to her first space mission. Though there was just one tiny obstacle; Anne was eight months pregnant. After giving birth to her daughter, Anne explains that preparing for her mission was probably the most intense year of her life. When the space shuttle Discovery launched, she was one of three mission specialists on board and became the first mother in space.
Today, more females are commonly seen in the astronaut training programme but this all started with the group of six fearless women back in the 1970s. Show your mother figure, astronaut or not, that she means the world to you by taking her on a trip to Stardome this Mother’s Day. For all shows on Sunday 13 May, mums get in FREE with a paying person.
Sunday 12 May for all show sessions. Phone bookings on 09 624 1246 are essential for a FREE ticket. www.stardome.org.nz/show/mothers-day/ .