"So much of our [patrons] are kids [so] having two events like these are really perfect for our audience," said Tellus Marketing Director Joe Schulman, referring to students comprising a quarter of the museum's annual visitors. "Brian Lies is a great author. It's a great way to get kids excited about reading and to have some fun too.
"Of course Family Science Night is one of our biggest events," he said about Tellus' Friday event. "We do this a couple times a year, actually three times a year we have Family Science Night. This one's a lot of fun because we're going to have a NASA astronaut, Al Worden, here and he's going to do a wonderful talk. They'll be kids' activities throughout the museum, just a great way for families to sort of kick off the weekend and have some fun and do something educational as well."
Family Science Night will return to Tellus Science Museum Friday from 5 to 9 p.m., with Worden speaking about his adventures in space at 7 p.m. The space-themed event also will feature an appearance by WSB-TV's Glenn Burns, a displayed moon rock, the planetarium show "Dawn of the Space Age," viewings in the observatory and hands-on projects.
According to www.nasa.gov, "Worden served as command module pilot for the Apollo 15 mission, which set several moon records for NASA, including the longest lunar surface stay time, the longest lunar extravehicular activity and the first use of a lunar roving vehicle. Worden spent 38 minutes in a spacewalk outside the command module and logged a total of 295 hours, 11 minutes in space during the mission.
"Worden was born in Jackson, Mich. He received a bachelor of military science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 1955, and master of science degrees in astronautical and aeronautical engineering and instrumentation engineering from the University of Michigan in 1963."
Based on previous programs, such as NASA astronaut Stephanie Wilson's presentation in March, Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria believes Worden's presentation will be appealing to individuals of all ages.
"We have found that whenever we've had an astronaut over here, it just seems to excite the whole public," Santamaria said. "So we expect to get a pretty good turnout. In the end, not many people have been up in space. So just to meet somebody I think is very exciting for our public and specifically an Apollo astronaut.
"There's just less individuals that were a part of this mission that are still around. So I think it's pretty exciting. This guy went to the moon. He was part of a very exciting program. He was a command modular pilot so he was piloting the spacecraft while the other two astronauts were on the moon," he said, referring to Worden's Apollo 15 mission in 1971.
Encompassing 120,000 square feet at 100 Tellus Drive in Cartersville, Tellus is comprised of four main galleries -- The Weinman Mineral Gallery, The Fossil Gallery, Science In Motion and The Collins Family My Big Backyard -- a 120-seat digital planetarium and an observatory. Since it opened January 2009, the museum has attracted more than 500,000 visitors.
Both events will be included in regular admission to Tellus -- $12 for adults, $10 for individuals 65 and older, and $8 for children ages 3 to 17 and students with ID -- and it will be free for museum members and active military personnel with ID. For more information about the museum or to place a lecture reservation, call 770-606-5700 or visit www.tellusmuseum.org.