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Adler Planetarium Brings Space Tourism to Chicago

May 12, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The future is here at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium! In Destination Solar System, presented by BMO Harris Bank and ComEd, audiences tour the Solar System like never before through the state-of-the-art technology of the Grainger Sky Theater.

The excitement and drama of our celestial neighborhood comes to life in stunning, vivid detail in this unforgettable experience available only at the Adler.

In this live show, it’s the year 2096, and space tourism is available to everyone. “Space Express Tours,” the first tour company in deep space, offers a variety of adventures including its most popular, Destination Solar System. This out-of-this-world tour, departing from the Grainger Sky Theater, takes place on board the fastest ship in the Space Express fleet and the only vehicle equipped with Space Jump™ technology.

In Destination Solar System, passengers will travel hundreds of millions of miles in just seconds on an adventure-filled tour led by Jesse, an enthusiastic, knowledgeable—but inexperienced—tour guide, and Max, a highly advanced, fully integrated onboard computer. Tours of the hottest hot spots and the coldest, stormiest and most spectacular sights in the Solar System await curious space explorers of all ages.

“Science is about exploring all around us and is a process that can start as close as your backyard,” said Michelle B. Larson, Ph.D., Adler Planetarium president and CEO. “The Solar System is our cosmic backyard, and we shake up what seems familiar by taking you to exciting and wild places right next door! This show explores our celestial neighborhood in a visual and entertaining way that is fun, scientifically accurate and sure to be memorable.”

Now Boarding!
The Destination Solar System experience begins at a futuristic spaceport in the Adler Planetarium’s Clark Family Welcome Gallery. Passengers move through a space portal to enter the Grainger Sky Theater to board their Space Express ship—equipped with Space Jump™ technology—and prepare for launch.

Solar System Itinerary
This tour highlights the similarities and extremes of different worlds in our active, dynamic Solar System. The adventurous itinerary includes:

  •     A vertical launch takes the ship through Earth’s atmosphere into orbit where passengers have an inspiring view of their home planet through the 35-foot viewing dome overhead.
  •     Then it’s off to the Moon to explore the site of the first Moon landing.
  •     Moving in to the heart of the Solar System, the Sun, this tour features the most dynamic, highest-resolution image of the Sun ever created! Witness erupting solar flares in the violently seething atmosphere of extreme heat.
  •     The next stop takes passengers from the intense heat of the Sun, to the depths of Valles Marineris, a canyon that stretches one-fifth of the way around Mars.
  •     From the Red Planet, it’s on to the Asteroid Belt and Vesta, the second most massive asteroid in the inner Solar System.
  •     Continuing to the largest planet in the Solar System, Jupiter, the tour travels from a whirling hurricane to the tranquil beauty of Jupiter’s breathtaking aurorae.
  •     The dynamic nature of our solar neighborhood is featured in the next stop, Io, the innermost of Jupiter’s four moons. Observe volcanic plumes rising from the Solar System’s most volcanically active body.
  •     Things get a little hazy at the next stop on the tour, Saturn’s moon Titan. Here the ship passes through the thick atmosphere over bodies of liquid that resemble lakes on Earth. With temperatures below -300° F, these bodies are filled with liquid natural gas instead of water.
  •     No tour through the Solar System is complete without Saturn and its iconic rings. In one of the most memorable moments in Destination Solar System, passengers will experience Saturn in a way that is only possible at the Adler.
  •     Upon returning to Earth, Space Express passengers can continue to explore in the Adler’s exhibition galleries including Our Solar System, the only place on Earth where you can touch a piece of the Moon, Mars, and three different asteroids all under one roof.

Destination Solar System blends art, science and technology to create a unique, immersive experience. The show, presented live by a trained actor, features world-class simulations created with scientific data from current planetary space missions. These breathtaking visuals—many never seen before—are presented in the Grainger Sky Theater, which was designed with leading edge technologies that enable visitors to explore space as if they were there. In Destination Solar System, audiences are not passive observers, but active explorers immersed in their own personal space journey.

“We are in a golden age of planetary science right now,” said Mark SubbaRao, Ph.D., Adler Planetarium astronomer and director of the Space Visualization Lab. “There has been an incredible amount of exploration and discovery in the Solar System over the past several years, and we’ve developed new visualizations of the latest scientific data to immerse audiences in these different worlds—which are real and exciting places. In Destination Solar System, we’re not just presenting science, but inviting you inside the experience.”

Destination Solar System was co-created by Carin Greenberg and Christina Delfico in partnership with the Adler Planetarium. Destination Solar System was written by Carin Greenberg, executive produced by Christina Delfico and directed by Ken Diego. Music was created by Jon Baker Productions.

Science Content and Visualization Partners
The production of Destination Solar System was a collaborative effort between the Adler Planetarium and the world’s leading scientists and visualizers. Science, simulation and visualization partners include: the University of California-Santa Cruz; the Advanced Visualization Laboratory, National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana; the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Lunar and Planetary Science Institute, the University of California, San Diego and the University of Florida, Magnetic Dreams and Xrez Studio.

Donor & Sponsor Recognition
The Adler Planetarium gratefully acknowledges The Grainger Foundation for its generous support for the creation of Destination Solar System.

Destination Solar System is presented by BMO Harris Bank and ComEd.

Destination Solar System will be presented daily and is available with the Adler’s All Access Pass. The All Access Pass features access to all exhibitions, the Atwood Sphere Experience and your choice of unlimited shows including Destination Solar System starting May 16. The All Access Pass is available for purchase on-site: $29.95 for adults, $27.95 for seniors/students with ID and $24.95 for children (ages 3-11). For convenience, the Anytime All Access Pass can be purchased in advance online and can be used on any day: $34.95 for adults and $29.95 for children, (ages 3 – 11.) General admission (not including shows) is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors/students with ID and $8 for children (ages 3-11). Chicago residents receive a $2 discount on adult admission packages and a $3 discount on child admission packages with proof of residency. Prices and packages are subject to change.

Join the Conversation
For more information on this summer’s hottest destination—the Solar System—visit Join the conversation online on Facebook or Twitter using #DestinationSolarSystem or #Spacecation.

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