Whitaker Center
Central PA’s Nonprofit Center for the Arts

Space Day 2023

October 21, 2023
9:00 AM - 2:30 PM

Space Day 2023

Featuring Central PA's NASA Astronaut Bob Hines | Saturday, October 21, 2023 | 9 am to 2:30 pm

Whitaker Center will be hosting a Space Day celebration on October 21, 2023. This year's theme is Space & Entrepreneurship and Whitaker Center is proud to host Bob Hines, NASA Astronaut, as the keynote speaker for the event.  He will share his journey and accomplishments from his spaceflight experience and his current role as an active NASA astronaut. Astronaut Hines recently returned from NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission where he served as flight engineer of Expedition 67 and 68 aboard the International Space Station. Hines logged a total of 170 days in space during the mission. The Space Day celebration will also include viewing of a documentary and hands-on activities and exploration in the Harsco Science Center and STEM Design Studios for all participants.  The day will wrap up with a Meet and Greet and photo signing with Astronaut Hines.


Enjoy of day of far-out fun including:

  • Science Center exploration including our newest traveling exhibit, Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience.

  • Space activities: Kids can participate in space-themed crafts, educational games, and interactive learning experiences tailored to their age group throughout the Harsco Science Center. The Eberly College of Science outreach team will be facilitating hands-on activities and demonstrations on electromagnetic waves in space, designing your own comets and meteors, exploding supernovas, black holes, and colored flames and gases.
  • Shows in the StarLab Mobile Planetarium 

  • Talks with Darren Williams, Eberly College of Science alumnus and Penn State Behrend professor of astronomy and astrophysics and physics

  • Showtimes for Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit 

  • Presentations by Keynote Speaker: Astronaut Hines

  • Meet & Greet with Astronaut Hines (limited number of participants- 50) 

  • Space-themed Gaming in the PNC Innovation Zone

  • Virtual Reality Tours of the International Space Station


The schedule for the day is as follows:

9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Science Center exploration and activities including hands-on space lessons in the STEM design studios with members of the Penn State Eberly College of Science Astronomy Department, and StarLab mobile Planetarium shows in Kunkel Gallery . 

9:30 am | 10:30 am | 12:30 pm | 1:30 pm

Penn State Astrophysics Program, Dr. Darren Williams talks in the Select Medical Digital Cinema and activities throughout the Science Center 

10 am | 11 am | 12 pm | 1 pm

Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit showings in the Select Medical Digital Cinema

10:30 - 11:15am

Keynote Speaker: Astronaut Hines- First Presentation with Crew 4 Mission Video/background talk 30 minutes; Followed by 15 minutes for Q&A  in SPT

12:30 - 1:15pm

Keynote Speaker: Astronaut Hines- Second Presentation with Crew 4 Mission Video/background talk 30 minutes; Followed by 15 minutes for Q&A  in SPT

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Meet & Greet with Astronaut Hines– Autographs (limited number of participants- 50) in Kunkel Gallery 


About Bob Hines

Bob Hines was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. He reported to the Astronaut Office in August 2017. He has served more than 23 years in the United State Air Force (USAF) as an instructor pilot, fighter pilot, and a test pilot. Before his selection in 2017, he was serving as a Research Pilot at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He has accumulated more than 4,000 hours of flight time in 50 different types of aircraft and has flown 76 combat missions in 3 different aircraft types while supporting contingency operations around the world. Hines served as the pilot on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station, which concluded on Oct. 14, 2022. The mission was the first spaceflight for Hines. He logged 170 days in space, overseeing the arrival of crew and cargo, maintaining the space station, and conducting science experiments of various disciplines.

About Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit


In 2013, a critical life-support system on the International Space Station failed, requiring an immediate spacewalk to fix it. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy made the repair and saved the space station. As an astronaut, he was trained extensively for space walks. But how do astronauts train here on Earth to work in the microgravity of space? Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit explores the ways in which NASA uses underwater environments to simulate life and work in space, offering a fascinating look into the high-tech world of astronauts. Join astronaut Chris Cassidy (current ISS Commander) as he trains in his space suit alongside a full-sized mock-up the International Space Station in a giant underwater facility in Houston. Dive to the sea floor with NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps as she lives underwater with fellow astronauts for ten continuous days at Aquarius Reef Base in Florida. Find out what it takes to live and work in space.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor!

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Thank you to our educational partner!


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