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Friday August 31st, 2012

Enhanced Security Helps Protect State Treasures

IMAX Hours Change - Museum Campus to Close at 5:00 pm

One of the most important jobs that museum staff has is that of artifact preservation. At facilities like the New Mexico Museum of Space History that is sometimes a tall order. “Our artifact collection ranges from pictures and papers to rocket engines and full size spacecraft. Everyone who has been to the museum realizes how important it is, for instance, to protect our moonrock. Most don’t realize that it’s equally as important to protect and preserve our larger artifacts like the Little Joe Rocket or the Sonic Wind One, which sit outside in our rocket park,” said Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll.

As part of a new museum security plan, installation of a new “launch gantry orange” security gate on Highway 2001 is anticipated to begin on Tuesday, September 4, 2012. “As our security plan begins to take shape in the form of the gate on the road to the museum and anticipated security cameras and other measures inside the facility, it’s important to remember that not only are we protecting the state treasures that we have on campus, we are also helping to insure greater safety for the public,” said Orwoll. “We chose “launch gantry orange” for the gate’s color because it’s easy to see and it’s very appropriate for a space museum,” he added. After the gate is installed, the campus of the museum will be closed to the public beginning at 5:00 pm every night. Special arrangements for access to the grounds after closing can be made through the Museum’s Public Relations office.

Showtimes at the Clyde W. Tombaugh IMAX Dome Theater will also change in conjunction with the new security plan in order to make a smooth transition for the public and museum staff. Beginning Saturday September 1, 2012, the first showing at the theater will be at 10:00 am and the last showing will be at 4:00 pm. This will allow theater patrons and staff members to leave the grounds prior to 5:00 pm when the gate will close.

Air Racers will show at 10:00 am, 12 noon and 3:00 pm. Air Racers is the first-ever IMAX theatre film devoted to the fastest race in the world: the legendary Reno National Championship Air Races. Air Racers takes audiences into Nevada's Valley of Speed to experience the intensity and high-speed thrills of a sports event like no other combined with spectacular air show entertainment.

Hubble will show at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Hubble's awe-inspiring images, from the heart of the Orion Nebula and our Milky Way to the edge of the observable universe, offer an inspiring and unique look into the Hubble Space Telescope's legacy and highlight its profound impact on the way we view the universe and ourselves. A Spanish language version of Hubble is available for advance group bookings.

The multi-media presentation 9 Planets and Counting will show at 1:00 pm on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Nine Planets and Counting presents the continuing debate over exactly how many planets our solar system has. The show includes a tour of the solar system utilizing spectacular photographs and, exciting new discoveries beyond Pluto.

Take a tour of the night sky with a planetarium show each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 1:00 pm. Experience the beauty of the heavens in the comfort of the Tombaugh and learn the answer to questions like: “What causes the seasons? Why do the planets sometimes seem to move backwards in the sky? Why are the brightest stars not always the brightest?”

The last show of the evening will be at 4:00 pm. Showtimes and prices are subject to change without notice. Please contact the museum at the phone number or website below for exact times and pricing. The above schedule continues through Sept. 30.

The New Mexico Museum of Space History is a division of the NM Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, call 575-437-2840 or toll free 1-877-333-6589.