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Explore@NASAGoddard Attracts Record Crowd of 20,000

Gates opened to the public Sept. 26, 2015, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, for the first time in four years in celebration of Hubble’s 25th anniversary. Event organizers at Goddard said some 20,000 attended today’s Explore@NASAGoddard event, an exclusive look at the center’s work.

On Sept. 26, 2015, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, opened its doors to give the public a chance to explore the center’s Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, astrophysics, and engineering and technology. In celebration of the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary, this year’s event highlighted the theme “Celebrating Hubble and the Spirit of Exploration.”
Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
Download this video in HD formats from NASA Goddard’s Scientific Visualization Studio

Visitors participated in more than 130 science, engineering and technology activities; heard from Goddard’s brightest minds, including Nobel laureate John Mather; and even interacted with astronauts like Hubble servicing mission veteran John Grunsfeld.

Explore at NASA Goddard logo on a starfield background

More than 10 buildings on Goddard’s campus were opened to visitors, including tours of the spacecraft integration and test facility, where satellites are put together and tested to withstand the rigors of space.

Attendees also had a chance to see Goddard’s High Bay Clean Room. In this, the largest facility of its kind in the world, engineers are currently constructing the James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Hundreds of the center’s staff were on hand to explain their work to attendees.

“It’s totally amazing,” said Nancy Curran, visiting from Indianapolis, Indiana. “It’s wonderful to see so many families here. The social media tent was cool because kids could wear astronaut helmets and take pictures with inflatable planets.”

“I loved getting to see the NASCOM operations center,” said Aresa Harewood, of Lanham, Maryland. NASCOM (short for NASA Communications) is where Goddard monitors communications with orbiting missions. “We got to see all the numbers going across the screen and the data coming in.”

Other highlights included a look at robots used to develop new satellite servicing technology, a visualization of Earth science data gathered in the last few hours, a live production by Goddard thespians, exhibits by companies like Tesla and LEGO, and more than 15 food trucks with diverse offerings.

Goddard last opened its doors for a public house in 2011 that drew in 15,000 guests.

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Last Updated
Jul 26, 2023