The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium is pleased to present special feature shows in October highlighting the Apollo mission, NASA’s in-progress Orion crew vehicle, and a telescope session with a focus on the Moon and Saturn. The feature shows — as well as our popular Night Sky Show — will be held on Friday evenings.

The feature shows are at 8 p.m. and are preceded by “The Night Sky Show” at 7 p.m. with the latest news in astronomy and space exploration, a family-friendly “tour” of the constellations, and the chance to ask astronomy-related questions.

The October 2019 lineup is:

• October 4: Special Observing Event: “A Crescent Moon, Saturn, and a Pretty Double Star” — A look through various telescopes at a fat 6-day-old crescent Moon and the always beautiful Saturn, as well as the pretty multicolored double star Albireo, riding high overhead in Cygnus, the Swan. If clouds intervene, the program will stay in the planetarium with high-resolution images.

• October 11: “NASA’s Orion Crew Vehicle: The Long and Winding Road” — Designed originally to be a general-purpose successor to the Space Shuttle, Crew Exploration Vehicle Orion has evolved through various design incarnations to emerge as a dedicated deep space vehicle for a crew of four, with a possible first flight in late 2020 or soon after.

• October 18 & 25: 50-Year Retrospective: The Flights of Apollo: “Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter – Scouting the Moon” — As NASA prepared for the first lunar landings, the Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Orbiter programs came and went quickly, but hugely increased our knowledge of the Moon, like whether the lunar dust would be able to support the weight of a crewed spacecraft.

The John Drescher Planetarium, which features a Digistar projection system, is located near the elevators on the second floor of Drescher Hall (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica). Tickets are available at the door and cost $11 ($9 seniors and children) for the evening’s scheduled “double bill,” or $6 ($5 seniors age 60+ and children age 12 and under) for a single show or telescope-viewing session.

Please call 310-434-3005 or see or for information. All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC Public Information Officer

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