Las Cruces Space Festival – April 7 – April 13, 2019
This April cements another small step for man but giant leap for mankind. Space exploration has always fascinated humanity, both young and old, as the idea of being able to travel beyond the realms of our home planet, and discovering new worlds out there. And what better way to indulge your love for anything space related than to attend the Las Cruces Space Festival?
What is Las Cruces Space Festival?
The 2nd Annual Las Cruces Space Festival is a celebration of all things aerospace, astronomical, suborbital, and light years away! The festival is celebrated in Southern New Mexico due to the area’s rich history with space and the first purpose-built commercial spaceport: Spaceport America. The Las Cruces Space Festival has its events already lined up for their guests to enjoy this year. Let’s take a look at what you can expect at this fantastic festival:
- Space Race to Spaceport America. Las Cruces Space Festival will be kicking of this year’s festival with a Space Race which is a 27 mile or 52-mile bike tour starting from Elephant Butte all the way to Spaceport America. The entry fee for participating cyclists is $40. This is an exciting way to start the festival together with Southwest Expeditions. This event will be held on April 7 from 6:30 am to 10:00 am. For non-participants, there is a shuttle service starting from the Spaceport Entrance heading to the Gateway Facility.
- Spaceport America Open House. After the Space Race, the Spaceport America Open House should be on your list. What can you expect in the Open House? There will be radio-controlled aircraft demonstrations, aircraft fly-in, demonstrations of robotics used in space missions, rocket launches, as well as gallery tours. The Final Frontier tours also offers guests with the chance to see the G-shock simulator. How’s that for first day activities in Las Cruces Space Festival? The Open House will run from 10 am up to 3 pm.
- Las Cruces, We Have Lift Off! Book April 8 on your calendar as this will be loaded with events starting with the Challenger Learning Center Missions and the opening of Our Place in Space – Las Cruces to the public. Head to the Southwest Environmental Center at 6pm to witness the “Hand Made Light” presentation by the artist himself, Tim Fitzpatrick. At 6:45 pm, Dr. Antonella Nota of the Space Telescope Sciene Institute Associate Director for the European Agency will present ‘Our Place in Space’. We’re definitely lifting off in Las Cruces!
- Our Place in Space. From April 8 to April 13, Our Place in Space will be one of the must-see events to add to your list of things to do here. This is basically an art exhibition that has been inspired by as well as featuring large sized images taken by the Hubble Telescope. If you think that this will be just a simple art gallery, think again. If you don’t want to miss out on all the art work, you can download the map and follow the trail scattered throughout the city. It’s a unique form of appreciating art, don’t you think?
- Challenger Learning Center Missions. You’re probably curious as to what the Challenger Learning Center Missions will be. Well, we’re going to let you in on a secret, you will get a chance to join simulations of space missions! You will need to register first, of course, but it’s going to be worth it. There will be one space mission for each day starting from April 8 to April 12 with two missions t be held on April 13. Not only will you be experiencing flight simulations, but you will get the chance to work as engineers, scientists, mission control operators and others to complete each mission. How exciting!
- Apollo Anniversary. If you have been following space missions, then you will know that April 9 is Apollo’s anniversary! There will be an anniversary tour at the Kilbourne Hole, followed by a mission from 6 to 8 pm. Dr. Emily Johnson, who is the Assistant Professor at the Department of Geological Sciences at New Mexico University, will be giving at talk on the significance of Kilbourne Hole. Check out the free movies at the Rio Grande Theatre with the movie Apollo 13 and loads more.
- Artrageous! Las Cruces Space Festival also includes an art workshop that costs $30 per head which will include all materials for the workshop. The Dona Ana Arts Council will be handling this event with Barbara Armstrong. There will be two classes on April 10, one is at 2pm to 4pm and the other will be conducted at 5:30pm to 7:30pm.
- The Big Space Quiz. Think you have what it takes to complete this quiz? Form a group of 8 people and challenge yourselves to the Big Space Quiz. All the questions here will range from scientific to astronomical facts and everything in between. Last year, the winning team got all the questions correct! How about you?
- Pre-K Planeteers. Remember, the Las Cruces Space Festival is open for all ages, and if you have kids who are up to 5 years old, the Pre-K Planeteers is a must-see. This will be held at the Museum of Nature and Science which is free of charge. Your little ones will learn a lot of fascinating things about space and everything in it.
- Making Contact. On April 11, you will learn more by attending interactive exhibitions, watching the robotics display, and paying a visit to the NMSU Planetarium. Attend talks provided by Spaceport America, NASA, as well as Virgin Galactic among others. There will be a free showing of the movie “Contact” at the Rio Grande Theater as well.
- Yuri’s Night Celebration! Don’t miss out Yuri’s Night Celebration on April 12 from 10 in the morning to 10 in the evening. This day will be packed with fun-filled events to celebrate the Anniversary of Human Spaceflight. You shouldn’t miss the stargazing event as well as the ‘From the Nursery to the Graveyard – The Life of a Star’ at the White Sands National Monument.
- Making Space for Everyone. This is the last day of Las Cruces Space Festival so expect it to be jam packed with events that you can participate in with the whole family. From hands-on activities, to talks, and book signings, this day is going to be the perfect end to a week-long celebration. 
Where is The Best Place to Stay?
Of course, there’s no one answer–you might be looking for a place near your favorite Mexican restaurant and we’re just not prepared to argue best Mexican food. However, if you’re planning on joining the Las Cruces Space Festival, which you should, you’re probably thinking of where to stay. Two options offering Space Festival Packages are The Hotel Encanto and Holiday Inn Express North. Follow the link to learn more and plan your stay!
The Final Frontier
What better way to appreciate fully the leaps that we have made in space exploration than by joining the Las Cruces Space Festival starting on April 7 to April 13? Get the chance to immerse yourself in the world of space exploration, and see for yourself the evolution of technology and how mankind’s quest for knowledge of the space and beyond has impacted our lives today. This is one vacation you will not soon forget especially when you are passionate about this subject. So don’t wait to book your stay and launch your trip to Las Cruces!