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US Air Force Academy Planetarium reopens to the public

Posted at 9:59 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 10:17:04-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — After two years of being closed to the public due to the pandemic, the Planetarium and STEM Center at the US Air Force Academy is once again inviting anyone and everyone to come out to enjoy a free public show where an astronomer will guide you on a tour of the stars while you sit in reclined comfort.

It all kicked off on Mother's Day weekend with an open house that saw droves of space enthusiasts flock to the event. Learn more about showtimes at the USAFA's planetarium page.

The folks at the planetarium are excited to have the public back and excited to provide ongoing educational opportunities. The facility has remained closed to the public since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

On Saturday, it was packed with excited space lovers happy to see the return of one more unique piece of our area.

"Today is about reintroducing the public to this awesome visitor experience that we have," explains Lisa Neener, Chief of Visitor Experience and STEM Outreach at USAFA.

That awesome visitor experience being the Planetarium and STEM Center. "It's decked with tech, high-tech, 360-degree digital", says Neener.

The shows are free of charge, led by a new astronomer with the facility. Three big points there - educational, cool, and free.

The planetarium had just recently reopened in 2019 with renovations after it closed in 2004. According to a news release from the Air Force in 2004, the building once saw as many as 200,000 visitors each year in the 1970s. However, advertising was cut and visitation fell to approximately 20,000 visitors after 9/11, which forced its closure.

The inflatable planetarium will be set up inside Arnold Hall.

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