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One of NASA's Only Female Shuttle Commanders to Speak at Space Fest

 Melroy is one of two women to ever command NASA's space shuttle.
Melroy is one of two women to ever command NASA's space shuttle.
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Facebook/Intrepid Museum

HELL'S KITCHEN — The Intrepid Museum’s annual Space & Science Festival will bring astrophysicists and amateur stargazers together in the West Side’s orbit this weekend.  

The festival blasts off Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. screening of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," part of the Intrepid’s free summer movie series outdoors on the ship’s flight deck. Tickets will be distributed starting at 5:45 p.m., with one given per person on a first-come, first-served basis.

On Saturday, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Brooklyn’s Honeybee Robotics, which creates robotic space explorers like the Mars rover Curiosity, will present displays.

Additionally, NASA astrophysicist Steve Howell and former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses will explore the physics of dessert.

Performer Andrew Dawson will reenact the Apollo moon landing with his hands, aided by the music of Shostakovich.

On Sunday, astronaut Pamela Melroy — one of only two women to command a NASA space shuttle — will talk about her time in space. She'll be speaking at 1 p.m.

NASA has also built a “silver seashell” to help visitors get a sense of the movement of satellites around the earth, according to the festival website.


“Step inside the Orbit Pavilion, imagine a silver seashell fallen from space, and listen to the satellites. Each satellite has been given its own tone. The soundscape changes as the satellites move, enabling us to hear them in real time as their orbits bring them into range hundreds of miles above our heads,” the website says. The Orbit Pavilion will be up through Aug. 24 and is free and open to the public.

Admission to these festival activities requires a museum ticket ($24 for adults and $12 for children), with an additional cost for entry to the Space Shuttle Pavilion.

The Intrepid is located at Pier 86 at West 46th Street and 12th Avenue.