While NASA will not be as busy as Obama during the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, it is planning to celebrate the special event with several activites throughout the weekend for those lucky enough to be in Washington D.C. while also providing plenty of opportunities to join in on the fun for those who could not make the trip.
On Friday, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST, NASA is opening its doors to the public as part of an open house. NASA announced that people can explore their headquarters 300 E St. SW and be a part of panel discussions with NASA officials. Some of the topics that will be discussed include the future of human spaceflight, future technology, current research on the International Space Station as well as the Mars mission and Curiosity rover. There will also be displays located throughout the headquarters detailing NASA’s rich history and current projects.
On Saturday, NASA will take part in the National Day of Service on the National Mall between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST. The public will learn more about NASA as well as ways to get involved with the government agency. Astronauts will also be on hand to discuss NASA’s role in research and space exploration. The astronauts that will attend the event include Kjell Lindgren and Serena Aunon, between 10 a.m and noon, Lee Morin and Kate Rubins, between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and Mike Massimino and Alvin Drew, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Later on, NASA has planned a Star Party at the Arlington Planetarium. That event takes place between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. EST. The public can gaze at the stars with telescopes while astronauts and NASA leaders will discuss space exploration. If you can’t make it to the star party, NASA invites would-be astronomers to submit photos to their Flickr page.
On Monday, Jan. 21, NASA will take part in the inauguration parade with two full-sized replicas of the Curiosity Mars rover and the Orion space capsule. Several NASA officials including the aforementioned astronauts and Bobak Ferdowski, better known as “Mohawk Guy,” will march in the parade. Mohawk Guy promises a new haircut that will be “fun…and a bit of a surprise” from the one he sported during the Curiosity landing on Mars, reports NBC Los Angeles.
Some of the events will be part of an official NASA Live Stream and you can view it below.