Humans have inhabited outer space since November 1, 2000. In celebration of our 17 consecutive years up there, the National Air and Space Museum, in collaboration with Brightest Young Things, will be hosting its largest-ever after-hours event, “Found in Space.”
Partygoers will have the run of almost the entire museum and all the space galleries. An array of musical performances and DJ sets will give moonwalkers a chance to show off their moves, and an open bar will offer beer and specialty cocktails. And, yes, there will be moon pies. There is no dress code for the event, but costumes are encouraged. An astronaut helmet with a tuxedo, for instance, would work.
Lovers of the cosmos will also enjoy a plethora of space-themed activities, including tastings of astronaut ice cream, space bun hair braiding, a paper plane contest, and a scavenger hunt with prizes. Every hour in the planetarium, Ulf Langheinrich’s Hemisphere, an immersive visual and musical piece, will be projected across the 77-foot-wide domed ceiling.
The party isn’t just a celebration of humanity’s once unthinkable achievement, but also an opportunity to excite people about pushing forward with space exploration.
“We may be able to celebrate these anniversaries for years to come, but only if people are aware of and excited about our work in space,” Nick Partridge, the museum’s public affairs specialist, says. “Part of [our] mission is to inspire the future. We want everyone to know what we’re up to up there!”
To assist in inspiring and educating Earthlings about the work done outside the atmosphere, TED-style talks will be given by Bobak Ferdowsi (the NASA mohawk guy), astrobiologist David Grinspoon, Tanya Harrison of the NewSpace initiative, and others.
The party starts at 8:30 pm and goes until midnight; but it doesn’t have to end when the clock strikes 12. Guests can keep spacin’ out at the U Street Music Hall afterparty, where their “Found in Space” wristbands will allow them free entry.
Pre-sale tickets for the party have sold out, but week-of tickets are available for $50. Day-of tickets will be $55.