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Starry Heavens Newsletter
March 2018

It's Here - PLUTOPALOOZA  . . . . .
  . . Thursday, March 8th, from 5:00-7:30pm.  Hokulani Imaginarium is hosting “Plutopalooza” , in partnership with The Bishop Museum.

Join us for a fast-paced evening of space talk with a talented team of scientists that collaborated on the New Horizons probe that conducted a six-month reconnaissance flyby of Pluto and its moons.  The mission team will share their own unique efforts and career talks with us here at the Imaginarium while the probe continues to travel through space. The scientists will be on hand to talk about the past mission and speak to the future of space exploration. In particular, the New Horizons mission continues as the probe moves on for a New Year’s Day 2019 flyby of a mysterious object in the Kuiper Belt.    

Your admission fee includes the 1-hour scientists talk as well as a Planetarium show experience.  The event lasts approximately 2 ¼ hours

Pricing:  Adult - $10, Youth (4-17) - $7, Child (under 4) – Free, WCC Students with ID - $7.

Please be sure to arrive on time so you don’t miss any of these timed activities.

The program is appropriate for all ages and levels of space enthusiasts.  

This program is brought to Windward Community College through a special partnership with Bishop Museum.  If you cannot attend the event on March 8th at Windward Community College, there is another offering on March 9th at Bishop Museum.

Since our Bishop Museum partners in this event have the ability to take credit and bank card payments, you can make reservations and obtain tickets on-line at: Bishop Museum tickets
You can also call WCC to reserve tickets at 235-7433.

The mission team scientists who will be on hand include: 
Mark Buie, New Horizons co-investigator with Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Co. Pluto has been a major focus of his research since 1983.  Mark also has a project known as and is enlisting students to help measure the sizes of other objects in the Kuiper Belt.
Alice Bowman, New Horizons Missions Operations Manager, aka MOM, works at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. She leads the team that controls the spacecraft now about 3.7 billion miles from Earth. 
Dr. Veronica Bray is a research scientist at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. Her expertise in “comparative planetology” has been important to the geology and geophysics section of the New Horizons team. 
 Kerri Beisser is a Program Manager for the Space Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL).  She was also a Program Manager for NASA’s Cassini, STARDUST and Galileo missions. 
Randy Monroe is a middle school science teacher.  He is a long time member of the New Horizons Education Team. 

We are excited about this collaboration with the Bishop Museum and look forward to seeing you at “Plutopalooza”.



Google Lunar X-Prize Will Go Unclaimed

The Google Lunar X Prize was announced in 2007 with an initial deadline of 2014, but officials extended the competition’s end date several times, eventually establishing March 31, 2018 as the deadline.

The $30 million grand prize package for the Google Lunar X Prize will go unclaimed.The $30 million purse included a $20 million grand prize for the first place team and bonuses for the second-place team and other secondary awards.The $20 million grand prize was to be awarded to the first team to land a privately-funded spacecraft on the moon, send back high-definition video and images, and travel 500 meters (1,640 feet) across the lunar surface.

Initially twenty-nine teams registered to compete for the prize. Officials for the competition disclosed that five of the twenty-nine teams were still in the running. Those five teams included:Florida-based Moon Express, which plans to launch its lander on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket, Team Indus and Hakuto from India and Japan, who aimed to share a ride on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, the Israeli SpaceIL team eyeing a launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, and Synergy Moon, an international collaboration which hoped to fly on an untested launcher in development by Interorbital Systems.
However, none will be ready to deliver their payloads to the moon by the end of March.

Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of the X Prize Foundation, and Marcus Shingles, the foundation’s CEO acknowledge  that while a literal moonshot is hard, they did expect a winner by now, but due to the difficulties of fundraising, technical and regulatory challenges no team will be able to make a launch attempt by the deadline.

To learn more about the competition see Hokulani Imaginarium's featured film - "Back To The Moon For Good", Saturday, April 11, at
1:00 pm

Reservations Suggested
Due to limited seating of 84 attendees in the Imaginarium, we recommend making reservations for our programs. Call (808) 235-7433 between 8:30am - 3:30pm, Monday - Friday. Reservation phone line is not available on weekends or holidays.

Our new admission prices beginning August 2017 are:
  • $8 General admission
  • $7 WCC students, military, seniors (65 years or older), with ID
  • $6 Children (ages 4-12 years)
  • Free for children under 4 years of age (1 per paying adult), and WCC faculty or staff with university ID

Please pick up and pay for reserved tickets at the Imaginarium Box Office at least 15 minutes prior to showtime. Unclaimed tickets may be sold to waiting customers on a first come, first served basis.
Please visit and LIKE our WCC Imaginarium Facebook Page.

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As always, we welcome your feedback or questions, feel free to phone (808) 235-7350 or email to If you would like information regarding our Adopt-a-Show sponsorship program please click here.
Dineene O'Connor
Manager, Hōkūlani Imaginarium
Windward Community College
Hale Imiloa 135A
Office (808) 235-7350

Magic Treehouse Space Mission,
Saturday, March 10,
1:00 pm
Two Small Pieces of Glass,
Saturday, March 10,
2:00 pm
Origins of Life,
Saturday, March 10,
2:00 pm
Stargazing with 
Krissie Kellogg,
Wednesday, March 14,
7:00 pm 

Dream to Fly,
Friday, March 23,
7:00 pm
Led Zeppelin,
Friday, March 23,
8:15 pm
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