The American Museum of Natural History announced an online SpaceFest to celebrate the launch of the first U.S. human mission to space in nearly a decade, as the crew of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to launch on May 27 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida headed to the International Space Station (ISS).

Beginning at 11 am EDT on May 27, SpaceFest at Home will offer a series of online engagements that will immerse participants in the science of space travel—past, present, and future. These will include a special edition of the Museum’s Scientists at Home program in which Museum Curator Ruth Angus will discuss how imagination has led to scientific innovation—including human missions to space, a fun at-home space activity for children on the Museum’s science website for kids OLogyand a live guided virtual flight that will let viewers blast off from Earth and travel to the ISS and beyond while discussing what it takes to plan a trip to space. The festival will culminate in a watch party of the launch itself, featuring live commentary from Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson and Museum astrophysicist Jackie Faherty. 


SpaceFest programming, which will be accessible via individual links available at, includes:

Note that all times are EDT.


  • 11 am: Scientists at Home: Imagining Space Exploration: Join Museum Curator Ruth Angus as she examines the awe-inspiring leap from imagination to scientific achievement in space exploration.  From novelist Jules Verne to astronaut Neil Armstrong,  learn how some of the most creative minds spurred unique scientific accomplishments, including human missions to space.
  • Get inspired by this dynamic presentation to illustrate your own dream of space travel! The May 27 OLogy Challenge, an at-home activity for students from the Museum’s science website for kids, will launch during the program. Submit your illustration for a chance to be featured on the Museum’s OLogy website!


  • 1 pm: Field Trip: Spaceflight Live Watch Party: Ride along with the Museum’s Director of Astrovisualization Carter Emmart and astrophysicist Jackie Faherty on their mission from Earth to the International Space Station, to the Moon, and beyond.  Like mapping out a cross-country car trip, sending humans into space takes a lot of planning.  Weather, distance, detours, traffic, and sightseeing all come into play. Experience the thrill of space flight, see the sites, and discover what goes into planning a successful mission to space.


  • 4:05 pm: The Future of Space Exploration with Neil deGrasse Tyson: Watch the SpaceX Crew Dragon launch live from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center with commentary from Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson and Museum astrophysicist Jackie Faherty as they discuss the future for human missions to space.  Viewers interested in asking questions for Neil or Jackie to answer live can send their queries in advance to

American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History, founded in 1869, is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational, and cultural institutions. The Museum encompasses 45 permanent exhibition halls, including those in the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the Hayden Planetarium, as well as galleries for temporary exhibitions. It is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial, New York State’s official memorial to its 33rd governor and the nation’s 26th president, and a tribute to Roosevelt’s enduring legacy of conservation. The Museum’s five active research divisions and three cross-disciplinary centers support approximately 200 scientists, whose work draws on a world-class permanent collection of more than 34 million specimens and artifacts, as well as on specialized collections for frozen tissue and genomic and astrophysical data and on one of the largest natural history libraries in the world. Through its Richard Gilder Graduate School, it is the only American museum authorized to grant the Ph.D. degree and also to grant the Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Annual visitation has grown to approximately 5 million, and the Museum’s exhibitions and Space Shows are seen by millions more in venues on six continents. The Museum’s website, mobile apps, and massive open online courses (MOOCs) extend its scientific research and collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to additional audiences around the globe. Visit for more information.


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