Kent and surrounding community residents are invited to the unveiling of Kent Valley’s Next Lunar Rover on Thursday, Nov. 14, in celebration of the region’s role in the historic Apollo program.

Admission is FREE; the festival will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019 at accesso ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Kent. Half-price food and beverage specials will be offered to all festival attendees.

Boeing, NASA, The Museum of Flight, FIRST Washington, and Kent School District have partnered with the City of Kent and the Kent Downtown Partnership to bring an evening full of STEM-focused activities to a Lunar Rover STEM Festival in Kent.

Michael Lombardi, Boeing’s corporate historian, will join retired NASA astronaut Captain Gregory “Ray J” Johnson and former members of Boeing’s Lunar Roving Vehicle team as special guests who will speak and field questions at the festival.

The festival’s main event will be the unveiling of an interactive Lunar Rover replica which will eventually “land” at a park in the heart of Kent’s downtown. The first 500 guests will receive FREE reusable bags filled with space-themed gifts.

Interactive, hands-on activities for kids of all ages will be hosted by the following partners: 

  • Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee
  • Boeing – Virtual reality experience
  • Blue Origin – Postcards to space
  • FIRST Washington – Robotics competition
  • Green River College & the Kent Community Foundations ICA
  • Highline College MESA & WISE
  • Kent Public Library – Comet on a stick, constellation coloring pages
  • Museum of Flight – Lunar Exploration Activities, Planetarium
  • NASA/Northwest Earth & Space Sciences Pipeline
  • Pacific Science Center – Best of the Science Center exhibit
  • Seattle Astronomical Society – Telescope viewing, gravity bowl
  • Tacoma Public Library –  Cubetto robots
  • UW Tacoma – Genetics, chemistry and math activities
  • Washington State History Museum – Geography & volcanoes
  • Washington Hyperloop – Dry ice demos, ice cream making

The three Lunar Roving Vehicles used by NASA during its historic Apollo Missions 15, 16, and 17 were designed, built, and tested by Boeing at its Kent Space Center. Still considered to be the most imaginative wheeled vehicle design in history, the Lunar Rovers made possible the greatest crewed explorations of the Moon. Three Lunar Rovers remain on the Moon today, and were recently designated as historical landmarks by the King County Landmarks Commission.

The City of Kent and Kent Downtown Partnership are leading a capital campaign to raise $1.25 million to renovate Kherson Park, the Lunar Rover’s next “landing spot”, located at 307 West Gowe Street. This space-themed park will celebrate Kent’s role in aerospace innovation while inspiring today’s youth to pursue out-of-this-world opportunities. Construction is expected to begin in 2020.

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Scott Schaefer

Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...