What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  




     Home  >  Articles  > Culture/Entertainment
by Sarah-Beth White


For decades, their silvery spires defined the classic landscape of Queens. And now they’re back — and better than ever! The towering Titan and Atlas rockets located at the New York Hall of Science (NYHS) in Flushing Meadows Park have been restored to their former glory following an ambitious four-year renovation project that includes an interactive rocket park. “These rockets are real — not replicas,” says Alan Friedman, NYHS director. “They are authentic pieces of one of America’s greatest adventures — space exploration.” Originally displayed at the 1964-65 World’s Fair on its two-acre United States Space Park, the rockets represented America’s future and its fervent quest for scientific knowledge. At the conclusion of the fair, the rockets were donated by NASA to the New York Hall of Science. The Titan’s history stretches back to the initial testing phase of the United States space program. Poised as though ready for launch at Cape Kennedy, it features a fiberglass Gemini capsule. The Atlas, which stands at 102 feet, houses an authentic Mercury capsule — the same model used for the historic space orbit of John Glenn in 1963. Years of weathering left the rockets corroded and in need of repair. Both have undergone an extensive restoration by Paul Thomarios, a renowned preservationist, whose expertise can also be viewed at the NASA Kennedy Space Center and the Smithsonian Institute. New steel support structures will enable the rockets to remain upright without guide wires, and the freshly painted glossy exterior will preserve these important artifacts for future generations. Standing at the base and looking up, viewers are often surprised at the size of the rockets. “They are both much bigger and much smaller than you might imagine,” says Friedman. Although they stand over 100 feet tall, the actual capsule for the astronaut is a cramped, uncomfortable space; an astronaut can barely extend his arms. The rockets themselves are smaller than an ocean liner or a 747, but they can move whole lot faster and travel a whole lot further, explains Friedman, saying: “The exhibit helps you realize the audacity of the astronaut who sat on top of this edifice and allowed himself to get launched into the unknown void of space.” For a visceral appreciation of this amazing feat, the Rocket Park includes an interactive Mercury climb-in capsule, a water rocket launch, and a full-size Saturn engine. The activities are intended to appeal to a wide age group, from the pre-K set to more senior enthusiasts. New educational programs are linked to the rockets, including a workshop where participants build and launch their own rockets. Weather permitting, each day will include at least one outdoor rocket launch. “Philosophically, we hope to create a demonstration that’s not only interactive and interesting, but teaches good science about rocketry,” says Preeti Gupta, NYHS director of education. “The rockets not only look wonderful, but offer families the opportunity to understand what an exciting adventure space travel was and continues to be,” says Friedman. “They represent an achievement that we can be truly proud of.”

Info: Where: The New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona When: Fall/winter hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 9:30am-2pm; Friday, 9:30am-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, noon-5pm. Free hours: Friday 2-5pm, September 1-June 30. How much: Adults, $9; children 5-17 or with college ID, $6; pre-schoolers ages 2-4, $2.50; seniors, $6 For more info: (718) 699-0005; www.nyscience.org


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More Culture/Entertainment Articles

Family Theater: 'Dear Edwina' is Back in New York
Theater Review: Broadway's 'Elf: The Musical'
Children's Theater Review: Freckleface Strawberry
Movie Review: The Kids Grow Up
Children's Theater: Cool Fall Shows in NYC - October 2010

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Culture/Entertainment Sponsors

Island Federal Credit Union
Hauppauge - Hicksville - Sayville
Island Federal Credit Union is Long Island?s secon...

GMS Associates, Inc
122 Fieldpoint Dr
Irvington, NY
(914) 591-4111

Howe Caverns Adventure Park
255 Discovery Drive
Howes Cave, NY
Howe Caverns is the Largest Show Cave in the North...

LinguaKids®, LLC

LINGUAKIDS is a coWELCOMEmpany specialized in teac...

SmartStart Early Childhood Center, Inc
8411 Fort Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY
Register now for our 2-year-old, 3-year-old, or 4-...
See Our Culture/Entertainment Directory

local zones


Nassau cont.


Suffolk cont.


Westchester cont.



Rockland cont.


Queens cont.


Brooklyn cont.


Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE