ROCHESTER, NY, JUNE 7 – The RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium unveiled two new exhibits on June 2: Rochester’s Eyes in Space and Same Sky. These exhibits are open and available to the public in the Planetarium lobby before and after regularly scheduled shows.
“These new exhibitions help the RMSC continue to offer immersive experiences that bring science, culture, and nature to life in unique, memorable ways. By presenting items from the RMSC collection and working with community partners who are experts in culture, science, technology, and history, we are able to tell more accurate and in depth stories. We are thrilled to offer these new experiences to the visiting public.” says Hillary Olson, President & CEO.
Rochester’s Eyes in Space tells the story of Rochester’s influence on space exploration. This interactive exhibit engages visitors with formerly classified technologies pioneered in the Rochester region that allow us to view distant stars, explore other planets, and better see what is happening on Earth. Visitors can view an interactive timeline, command a Mars rover in accomplishing a special mission, and try their hand at grabbing a film recovery “bucket” out of midair mimicking the historic plane capture process. To help with exhibit content, RMSC turned to two Rochester organizations, L3Harris Technologies and Optimax Systems Inc., who have long been deeply engaged in developing technologies for space-based exploration.
“Rochester has a rich and extensive history in the aerospace and defense industry. The leading-edge scientists, engineers and manufacturing experts at L3Harris have played an enormous role in America’s eyes in space,” said Stephanie Dickman, Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, Space and Airborne Systems, L3Harris. “Having this extraordinary history on display at the RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium is something everyone should see.”
Joe Spilman, President of Optimax added, “Optimax is thrilled to partner with the RMSC (Rochester Museum & Science Center) on the Mars Rover interactive included in Rochester’s Eyes in Space. We see it as part of our mission to inspire the next generation with the incredible technology, applications, and stories that are happening right here in our community. Optimax is proud to be part of the optics ecosystem and technology hub in Rochester.”
Same Sky explores the universal importance of sky watching through unique cultural perspectives. Developed in partnership with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, this new permanent exhibition illuminates Haudenosaunee, Diné, and Maya approaches—both ancient and contemporary—to observing and understanding the sky and celestial bodies. Visitors can view more than 40 Indigenous artworks and cultural items spanning nearly four centuries from the collections of the RMSC Museum & Science Center and other contributors. In their own words, Indigenous scientists, educators, artists, and storytellers teach visitors about the connections between the sky and our lives as they feature artwork, technologies and traditions, ecological knowledge, and cosmologies specific to their heritage.
“Through the words and vision of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers, we all have an opportunity to deepen our understanding of and respect for the sky and its connections to life on Earth,” said Kathryn Murano Santos, RMSC Senior Director of Collections & Exhibitions. “In this region, we are all under the skies that the Seneca and other Haudenosaunee have watched for more than a thousand years. Same Sky enables guests to learn from sky watching traditions that have developed over many generations of living in a particular place.”
The RMSC is grateful to Tonia Loran-Galban (Akwesasne Mohawk, Bear Clan), Jamie Jacobs (Tonawanda Seneca, Turtle Clan), Nicole Scott (Diné), Gina Kanbalam Miranda (Maya calendar keeper), and Mindy Magyar (Mi’kmaq descent) for sharing aspects of their lived experience and cultural heritage with the public in this exhibit experience.
For more information about the new exhibits, go to rmsc.org/strasenburghplanetarium/exhibits