Kalpana Chawla Memorial PlanetariumAstronomy has its extensive elaboration in Indian ancient Vedic scriptures. It has its relation with Indian civilization dating back to pre historic times. This relation is thoughtfully developed as Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium in Kurukshetra. This planetarium situated on Pehowa Road of Kurukshetra was built in fond memory of Kalpana Chawla and named after her. It was constructed jointly by Haryana State Council for Science & Technology and National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) under Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.
Image Source: www.panoramio.com/photo/55861292
The total cost of its construction that amounted to approx. 6.5 crores was shared by state and central government in equal proportion. This sprawling planetarium developed on 5 acres of land was built and dedicated to nation in July 2007 by Honorable Chief Minister of Haryana, Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Since then, it imparts non formal learning in astronomy to the people having interest in this subject, particularly the students.
Features of Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium
- The planetarium is surrounded by plush green areas and it has been developed as an interesting tourist place.
- The outer area of planetarium called as Astro Park and its inside has many programmes and exhibits that offer comprehensive information on universe and astronomical sciences.
- It has seating capacity of 120 persons. Entire planetarium is centrally air conditioned with back up provided by 200KV generator.
- State-of-the-art equipments in this planetarium are imported from USA.
Attractions at Kalpana Chawla Memorial PlanetariumThis sophisticated planetarium has special Splitz Display system, opto mechanical projection along with digital dome video display. This unique equipment placed inside 12 meter dome of planetarium takes you thousands of year earlier or later in history to understand the vision of night sky in any period. There are two regular shows, Oasis and Astronaut that are run in this planetarium for the visitors. These infotainment shows are loved by the students to come here to explore the celestial world through vision of Kalpana Chawla.
Exhibit Gallery in Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium has interactive displays about astronomy. There are special features including Walk through Time, Weight on Different Planets, World Time, Seasons on Earth, Our Solar System, Astro Quiz, Beyond Solar System, Our Address in Universe, etc. This gallery also has one section that is dedicated to the life and achievements of Kalpana Chawla.
Astro Park of planetarium has quite interesting exhibits like sundial, world time, samrat yantra, optical tree, celectial umbrella, planetrack, turn faster, totems of time, eclipses, etc. These interactive exhibits enrich the knowledge about various phenomenons of our earth and solar system at large.
Activities related to astronomical studies are also conducted here for the students of schools and colleges, teachers, and general public. These include seminars, workshops, lectures, etc. To conduct them properly, eminent science personalities from various institutes attend them. Night Sky Watching Workshops are quite regularly held in Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium.
Timings of Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium
- The planetarium remains closed on Mondays
- Daily 5 planetarium shows are run from 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM
- Visiting hours are from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM while office timings are from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- It remains closed on gazette holidays like Independence Day, Republic Day, Holi, Diwali, and Gandhi Jayanti.
Entry Fees at Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium
- General ticket for Planetarium, Gallery, and Astro Park: Rs. 30
- General ticket for Gallery and Astro Park only: Rs. 15
- For organized students groups from schools, colleges, or institutes, entry fees for Planetarium, Gallery, and Astro Park: Rs. 15 while Entry Fees for Gallery and Astro Park only: Rs. 5
- Fees for camera (only still photography): Rs. 20 per camera
- Children below 3 ft height, uniformed only Armed Force Personnel, physically challenged persons, and members of International Council of Museums: Free
Reach Kalpana Chawla Memorial PlanetariumAddress - Pehowa Road, Kurukshetra
Pin Code: 136 119
Phone - 01744 - 238005
DST, Haryana - www.dstharyana.org
About Kalpana Chawla
Kalpana Chawla was born and brought up in Karnal District of Haryana. After completing B. Sc. in aeronautical engineering from Chandigarh, she shifted to USA.
There, she completed M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from University of Texas and later, Ph. D in Aerospace Engineering from University of Colorado in 1988.
She was selected by NASA in 1994 and then, she joined Johnson Space Center. In 2007, she took her first space flight as Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Columbia, Mission STS-87.
She died on board the space shuttle Columbia on Mission STS-107 in 2003 in an explosion take took place while entering the atmosphere of earth.
Her fascination for wonders of space and her achievements made her the inspiration behind this planetarium in Kurukshetra.
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