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Relive the events from our fourth annual Space Fest!

From the first crewed Mercury space missions to advances in satellite and rover technology, we have built new means of space travel with each generation. In our fourth annual Space Fest, we will explore the future of space exploration. We’ll have four days of virtual festivities—featuring experts from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and the University of Minnesota. Download specially curated astronomy activities for the whole family to do at home. During our virtual Star Party on Friday evening, connect with student researchers passionate about space exploration and enjoy live views of the Minnesota night sky from telescopes on our observation deck.

Thursday, February 3

A newspaper with the text, "Operation Moonglow, a political history of project Apollo"

Virtual Book Talk with Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, 7 pm

Join us as we kick off Space Fest 2022 with a book talk from author Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony! 

On July 20th, 1969, over half the world’s population witnessed Neil Armstrong’s first step on the Moon. While often remembered as a scientific and technological feat, the ambitions of the Apollo program aimed far beyond the Moon. Through spaceflight, America sought to win hearts and minds, foster alliances, and shape the political trajectories of newly independent nations. Drawing on a rich array of untapped archives and firsthand interviews, Operation Moonglow knits together a story of politics and propaganda; diplomacy and spaceflight; and decolonization and globalization to reveal the political forces that not only sent humans to the Moon but also attracted the largest audience in history. 


Friday, February 4

A telescope pointed at the night skyVirtual Star Party, 7–9 pm

The future of space is as bright as the stars!  From the JWST to LUCY to DART to VERITAS, there are more missions than ever before working to study our universe. Join the Bell Museum planetarium team as we explore the future of astronomy and share live views of the night sky through our telescopes (weather permitting). Rewatch the Virtual Star Party here!



Saturday, February 5

Staci Tiedeken holding up a globe and talking with peopleSpectacular Spacecraft, Extraordinary Missions, Virtual Talk with Staci Tiedeken, 11 am–12 pm

Cruise through the solar system with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. We’ll explore groundbreaking space missions to destinations such as Saturn’s exotic moon Titan, our neighboring planet Venus, and the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, the source of NASA’s first asteroid sample, which is aboard a spacecraft making its way back to Earth now. Rewatch Spectacular Spacecraft, Extraordinary Missions here!



Sunday, February 6

The perseverance rover on marsMoon, Mars, and Beyond! Virtual program with NASA Solar System Ambassadors, 11 am–12:30 pm

Come along with our crew of regional NASA Solar System Ambassadors on an exciting tour of current and future NASA space exploration missions, including Artemis and Mars Perseverance. Our journey will include a hands-on activity that the whole family will enjoy as well as plenty of time for Q&A. Rewatch Moon, Mars, and Beyond here!




At-Home Activities

  • Build a Mars Helicopter

    Become a NASA engineer and build your own Mars helicopter! Test out different versions of your helicopter and experiment to find the design that works best.

  • Make an Astronaut Lander

    Build a space lander that will safely take astronauts to the surface of the Moon or Mars! This activity will challenge you to make investigations about gravity, motion, and force and think creatively about different materials and designs.

  • Explore With Your Own OSIRIS-REx Pocket Spacecraft

    Learn about the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft and snap a photo of your very own pocket spacecraft exploring something interesting where you live!


Thank you to Ruth & John Huss for supporting Minnesota’s Astronomy Classroom programming



Thank you to our 150th Anniversary Sponsors

A variety of logos for General Mills, AgriGrowth, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Pork Board, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, and Minnesota Turkey Growers Association