Roger That!

Roger That! celebrates space exploration and the life of Grand Rapids native, Roger B. Chaffee, with a multi-day experience, featuring STEM school programming and a public celebration at the GRPM and an academic and public conference at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), February 14 & 15!

GRPM Space Celebration

Join the GRPM for educational exhibitions and activities taking place throughout the day on Saturday, February 15 for Roger That! 

Learn more about Roger B. Chaffee and space exploration with hands-on activities including a jet propulsion activity, gazing at the daytime sky with telescopes, creating underwater ROVs, interacting with space artifacts and much more! 

The GRPM is thrilled to host community partners on Saturday, including new partners: the Museum of Science and Industry all the way from Chicago, Kent Intermediate School District and YETi CGI. Kent District Library, the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Society and the GVSU Padnos College of Engineering are returning as long-term partners, and will continue engaging the community through educational interactives. 

Activities will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and are included with general admission. Planetarium shows take place on the hour throughout the day, and are $4 per person; free for Museum members. 

Chaffee Planetarium Show Schedule

February 15
11 a.m. | One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
12 p.m. | Escher’s Universe
1 p.m. | Space School
2 p.m. | Habitat Earth
3 p.m. | Under Frozen Skies
4 p.m. | Dark Side: The Light Show 

SOLD OUT - Astronaut Story Musgrave Presents: From Farm Kid to Trauma Surgeon to Rocketman and Way Beyond

On Saturday, February 15, join the GRPM for special presentation by Astronaut Franklin Story Musgrave From Farm Kid to Trauma Surgeon to Rocketman and Way Beyond 

Presentation takes place at 11 a.m. in the GRPM’s Meijer Theater. Theater doors open at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are free,must be reserved in advance and do not include admission to the GRPM or Roger That! space activities. Limited tickets available.

Dr. Story Musgrave, M.D., is an American physician and a retired National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut. He is a public speaker and consultant to both Disney’s Imagineering group and Applied Minds in California. 

After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Musgrave earned an impressive list of academic credentials, including a combination of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in mathematics, operations analysis, chemistry, literature and physiology, as well as a medical degree from Columbia University. As an expert on cardiovascular and exercise physiology, Musgrave was selected by NASA to serve on future space missions. 

Musgrave’s first space mission was on STS-6, the maiden flight of the Challenger space shuttle (April 1983). Musgrave’s most important mission came in December 1993, where he led a crew in a successful effort to repair the faultily constructed Hubble Space Telescope. In addition to Musgrave’s impressive work history, he also published several scientific papers on aerospace medicine, exercise physiology and other subjects. Musgrave retired from NASA in 1997. 

K-12 STEM School Programming

Roger That! STEM programming for school groups will be held on Friday, February 14 at the GRPM. School groups have the opportunity to explore STEM related concepts through a series of programs, which include hands-on activities. Activities will be available on a drop-in basis.

To reserve your school for these programs, click below.

Academic and Public Conference at Grand Valley State University

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Join GSVU for a Love Story.  free academic conference on Friday, February 14,  that includes keynote speakers and breakout sessions, while celebrating Valentine’s Day.

GSVU will kick off the Roger That! academic conference with keynote speaker Alice Bowman, the Mission Operations Manager for New Horizons, who will present New Horizons: Exploring the Icy Heart of Pluto and Beyond on Friday, February 14 at 11 a.m. in GSVU’s Loosemore Auditorium. Bowman’s presentation will highlight the watery elements of Pluto, theories of a subsurface water ocean and discuss the Sputnik Planitia ice field on Pluto, the most famous “heart” in the Kuiper Belt. 

A plenary session will be held at 2:30 p.m., featuring guests from the Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago.

Following, Dr. Musgrave will present The Way of Water: Essential, Engaged, Energetic, Adaptable, Cohesive, Transparent, Creative, Flowing, Synergistic, Multidimensional, Unbeatable and Beautiful at 5:30 p.m. in GVSU’s Loosemore Auditorium. 

In the evening, purchase a ticket for honorary dinner for Alice Bowman and Dr. Story Musgrave at the Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown, followed by a showing of Space School in the GRPM’s Chaffee Planetarium. Tickets are $25 with limited availability. Click below to purchase

The conference is free and open to the public. 

Apollo 1 Tragedy

On January 27, 1967, tragedy struck NASA’s Apollo program when a flash fire occurred in command module 012 during a launch pad test of the Apollo/Saturn space vehicle being prepared for the first piloted flight, the AS-204 mission. Three astronauts, Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom, a veteran of Mercury and Gemini missions; Lt. Col. Edward H. White, the astronaut who had performed the first United States extravehicular activity during the Gemini program; and Grand Rapids Native Roger B. Chaffee, an astronaut preparing for his first space flight, died in this tragic accident.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum renamed its planetarium to the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium the same year.

This event, scholarly in nature and open to the general public, is co-organized by the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Valley State University, and the Roger B. Chaffee Scholarship Fund. Roger That! seeks to honor Chaffee and highlight local research in a two-day celebration of space exploration.