BARSTOW — Space exploration continues inside the Harvey House this week.
To enhance the Science on Sphere experience, two space experts involved in the New Horizon Mission will speak from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday inside the Harvey House (a ghost tour will follow at 7 p.m.). New Horizon is an interplanetary space probe launched as a part of NASA's New Frontiers program.
Dr. S. Alan Stern is NASA's Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate and is the principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the chief scientist at Moon Express. Stern has been involved in 24 suborbital, orbital, and planetary space missions, including eight for which he was the mission principal investigator. One of his projects was the Southwest Ultraviolet Imaging System, an instrument which flew on two space shuttle missions.
Cathy Olkin is a planetary scientist at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. Her main topic of research is the outer solar system, specifically planetary atmospheres and surfaces. She is the deputy project scientist for the New Horizons mission to Pluto.
"We are pretty excited," said Marie Massey, business manager with Harris Corp. at Goldstone Deep Space Network at Fort Irwin National Training Center. She is one of the organizers of Science on a Sphere inside the Harvey House.
The Science on a Sphere exhibit is a six-foot spherical display developed by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that utilizes computers and four video projectors to show planetary processes that are otherwise difficult to imagine on flat surfaces. Such processes include global effects of climate change, tsunami wave propagation, temperature of cosmic background radiation, and changing surface features on Mars.
The sphere is located in the Harvey House Main ballroom. There are other NASA-related exhibits upstairs.
The exhibits opened to the public two weeks ago and are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tiesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. The exhibits are closed on Mondays. Entrance fee is $10 for adults, $7 for military and seniors and $5 for students with ID. The group rate for 10 or more is $5 per person.
"Bringing the Science on Sphere here was a huge, huge undertaking. It required reaching out and acquiring partnerships," Massey said. "I couldn't fit it at Goldstone. It had been in Paris at the World Health Conference. Then it went to Madrid, Spain. And they wanted to come to Goldstone. We just didn't have any space big enough.
"By coming here, working with the city of Barstow, they offered this ballroom. You can see it's the perfect place for this sphere."
Massey said classrooms as far away as San Juan Capistrano are booking reservations.
The speakers series will continue Wednesday at 5 p.m. involving the Orion spacecraft intended to send a crew of four to Mars. It will be followed by a ghost tour at 7 p.m.
Mike Lamb can be reached at 760-957-0613 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter @mlambdispatch.