The Scobee Education Center opens its doors

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Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Illustration by Alexandra Nelipa

Correction: June Scobee Rodgers’ name is misspelled in the article below.

Local astronomy groups help center with ‘Star Party.’

By Ian Coleman

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

After two years of planning and construction, the Scobee education center is opening on Halloween!

The center will be hosting private and public events on its grand opening Oct. 31.

The private event will include a ribbon cutting ceremony and guest speakers from 9 a.m. to noon.

300 guests are expected to attend.

Guest speakers will include Eileen Collins the first woman in space, Ellen Ochoa the first Latina in space, and director of the NASA Johnson Space Center, Dr. June Scobee Rogers, the wife of late Lt. Col. Francis Richard “Dick” Scobee.

Other guest speakers are Chancellor Dr. Bruce Leslie, U.S Rep. Lamar Smith of District 21, President Robert Vela and former President Dr. Robert Ziegler.

Rick Varner, director of the Scobee education center, said June Scobee Rogers and Lt. Col. Scobee met at this college.

From noon to 5 p.m. the Scobee will have an interactive exhibit in the Challenger Learning Center titled “Earth Odyssey” and programs such as “The Secret Lives of Stars” in The Scobee Planetarium.

Programmer Mike Donaldson of Design and Production programs cameras with Bill Seilnacht, manager of tech support for Scobee Education Center today in the space station at the center. Director Rick Varner toured the space today to check on the progress before the grand opening Friday. Photo by Neven Jones

Programmer Mike Donaldson of Design and Production programs cameras with Bill Seilnacht, manager of tech support for Scobee Education Center today in the space station at the center. Director Rick Varner toured the space today to check on the progress before the grand opening Friday. Photo by Neven Jones

Nov. 1 the center will be free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The center will reopen 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. for a “Star Party” which will have telescopes for star-gazing provided by the San Antonio Astronomers Association and the San Antonio League of Sidewalk Astronomers.

Also the Star Deck, which has occupancy of 50 people, will be open on top of the Scobee education center.

The center hours will be Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Fridays the center will open at 6 p.m. and have planetarium showings at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The San Antonio College Planetarium was renamed The Scobee Planetarium in 1994 in honor of Lt. Col. Scobee.

Lt. Col. Scobee was an alumnus of this college and the commander of the Challenger space shuttle in 1986. The shuttle crashed over Cape Canaveral, Fl. after a mechanical failure occurred shortly into its launch killing all crewmembers.

Cash is only accepted for admission tickets for Scobee.

Student, faculty and staff with an active I.D. badge get in free. Students from other colleges, senior citizens, military and kids tickets will be $4. Other adult tickets will be $5.

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