Museum of the Southwest's Astronomy Day kicks off this weekend - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Museum of the Southwest's Astronomy Day kicks off this weekend

(Source: KWES) (Source: KWES)
MIDLAND, TX (KWES) -

How would you like to learn something that's out of this world? The Museum of the Southwest is holding Astronomy Day this Saturday.

You'll get the chance to meet Col. Eileen Collins. She's the first woman to pilot and command a US space shuttle. Her first mission she commanded was on the STS-93 almost 19 years ago. But now, her continued mission is to inspire women that there's no limits beyond the skies.

"I think it's really important to celebrate women in the field of science which can be sometimes underrepresented," said Museum of the Southwest's Marketing Manager Natasha Blackmore. "This is a record breaking woman, she's logged 872 hours in space. So if you want meet an astronaut, this weekend is the time to do it."

The Museum of the Southwest is launching Astronomy Day, where Collins will speak to the community about her astronaut experiences.

"I think here in Midland, we have a lot of science and a lot of amazing women in science so its especially aspirational to have someone so special and one of our nations treasures to come out and share some of that with us," said Program and Outreach Manager Samantha Voss.

A time when there were no female astroanuts, Collins would learn not just about our world, but the outside. She'd later join the Air Force and would also fly the Space Shuttle Discovery. After the Columbia tragedy in 2003 that killed all seven astronauts, she'd command the STS-93 flight, the first space shuttle since the accident.

"The difference between many women in science and Eileen is she took advantage of every opportunity that was given to her," said Voss. "Every door opened to her, she walked through that door, every single time someone said, 'You're a woman and you'd never be able to do that,' she went above and beyond to reach her goal."

Whether it's on earth or in space, opportunities in the universe become endless. Because like Collins, exploration and discovery become alive as long as you reach above the stars.

Astronomy Day will also consist of an astronaut training camp and space explorer awards where you can design a rocket and Collins will announce a winner. Those free activities are from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. You can do a meet-and-greet with Collins at 3:30 p.m. and her relativity lecture will follow.

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