Erakina

Kalpana Chawla Planetarium – Erakina

Published Date : July 29, 2022

Introduction

The Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium honours Haryana’s courageous daughter, Dr. Kalpana Chawla. Pehowa Road, it’s close to Jyotisar. The planetarium was designed to provide non-formal astronomy education. Haryana State Council for Science and Technology created the planetarium on July 24, 2007. The planetarium features exhibitions on both the inside and outside of the structure. The space has been designed and organised to assist curious people, particularly kids, in learning fascinating parts of science and filling their minds with a diverse range of facts about the universe.

About

In honour of India’s first woman astronaut, Dr. Kalpana Chawla, the Haryana State Council for Science & Technology, in collaboration with the National Council for Science Museums, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, has built the Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium on the Kurukshetra-Pehowa road (near Jyotisar Tirth). The planetarium, which cost 6.50 crores to construct, is spread over 5 acres of land. The planetarium, which is surrounded by huge green fields and a beautiful Astro-park, is great for people looking to get away from the din and dust, the rush and bustle of big towns. The planetarium combines tranquil surroundings with astronomy programmes performed with cutting-edge technology. The planetarium has quickly established itself as a one-of-a-kind attraction.

Moon in a black starry sky
In a dark, starry sky, the moon shines brightly.

Kalpana Chawla’s bio

  • Kurukshetra’s Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium

Kalpana Chawla was born and raised in Haryana’s Karnal district. She moved to the United States after completing her B. Sc. in aeronautical engineering in Chandigarh.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas and a doctorate in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado, both in 1988.

NASA chose her in 1994, and she went to work for NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She flew into space for the first time in 2007 as a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Columbia’s STS-87 mission.

She perished in an explosion while entering the atmosphere of Earth on the space shuttle Columbia on Mission STS-107 in 2003.

Her passion for the mysteries of space, as well as her accomplishments, inspired the creation of this planetarium in Kurukshetra.

Dome of a planetarium through which stars are spotted
A planetarium’s dome, through which stars can be seen.
  • What to look out for at Kalpana Chawla Planetarium?

This high-tech planetarium has the Splitz Display system, optomechanical projection, and a digital dome video display. This one-of-a-kind device, housed inside a planetarium’s 12-metre dome, transports you thousands of years back in time to understand the view of the night sky at any time. This planetarium has two regular shows for visitors: Oasis and Astronaut. Students come here to see these informational events because they want to learn about the heavenly world via Kalpana Chawla’s vision.

The Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium’s Exhibit Gallery features interactive astronomical displays. Walk Through Time, Weight on Different Planets, World Time, Seasons on Earth, Our Solar System, Astro Quiz, Beyond Solar System, Our Address in the Universe, and other special features are available. This gallery also features a section dedicated to Kalpana Chawla’s life and accomplishments.

The sundial, world time, Samrat yantra, optical tree, celestial umbrella, plane track, turn quicker, totems of time, eclipses, and other exhibits in the planetarium’s Astro Park are highly interesting. These interactive exhibitions add to our understanding of numerous phenomena on our planet and in the solar system as a whole.

Students from schools and colleges, professors, and the general public can participate in activities linked to astronomical research. Seminars, workshops, lectures, and other events fall within this category. Eminent scientists from many institutes attend to ensure that they are properly conducted. Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium hosts Night Sky Watching Workshops regularly.

rain of stars with a city in the background
A cityscape in the background and a shower of stars
  • Kalpana Chawla Memorial Planetarium’s Features
  1. The planetarium is surrounded by lush greenery and has been designed as a fun tourist attraction.
  2. Astro Park is the planetarium’s exterior area, and the planetarium’s inside features several programs and exhibits that provide extensive information on the universe and celestial sciences.
  3. It can accommodate up to 120 people. The entire planetarium is completely air-conditioned, with a 200 kV generator for backup.
  4. The planetarium’s state-of-the-art equipment is brought from the United States.

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