Best Way to Launch into Space

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photo courtesy of Todd Goodrich
  • photo courtesy of Todd Goodrich

Though we’ve certainly dreamed about it—especially after seeing the 1986 movie—some of us never got to go to space camp. And some of us are still crying about it. The good thing is, we live in a place where stars and planets are visible from backyards and hilltops. Plus, we have the incredible Blue Mountain Observatory where you can view the universe on summer nights during public observing nights. More recently, the University of Montana opened a planetarium for public and private shows. Inside the Star Gazing Room in the basement of the Payne Family Native American Center, audiences get to see magnificent projections of constellations and other space objects. The 50-minute visual feast also focuses on different topics, including star lore, new solar physics discoveries and information on current space missions. The twice-monthly, Friday night shows cost $6 for adults, $4 for kids ages 12 and younger, and tickets are available on Apparently the high-tech projector is able to show both real-time objects plus depict what the Missoula sky will look like 100,000 years into the future. All that, and you don’t even have to eat freeze-dried ice cream.

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