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Hubble will astound you

  • Published
  • By Derek Kaufman
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
If you've ever looked up at the night sky and felt a sense of wonder about our place in the universe, you absolutely should not miss "Hubble," a new film which opens on Friday, March 19, at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force here, as well as many IMAX screens globally.

Much of the movie features stunning spacewalks filmed by NASA astronauts while orbiting some 350 miles above the Earth during the May 2009 space shuttle Atlantis mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble also includes some incredible close-up footage of the shuttle's launch from its pad at Kennedy Space Center and an intimate look at the astronauts living and working while weightless and speeding along at 6 ½ miles per second. The film is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.

The real treasure in this film, however, is the astonishing images of celestial bodies captured by Hubble.

Fans of Star Trek or Star Wars who enjoy star field flights simulated by Hollywood imagineers will marvel as they accelerate from the Hubble telescope's wide field camera, out of the Milky Way, past distant galaxies and nebulae to the very edges of the known universe.

This spectacular, mind blowing, three-dimensional trip through the cosmos isn't just movie magic. It was created from terabytes of actual data collected by Hubble. It's likely the closest thing to real star travel that most human beings alive today will ever experience.

Retired NASA astronaut and Air Force Col. Mark Brown introduced the movie during a pre-screening for media at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force's IMAX theatre on March 16. A veteran mission specialist aboard two space shuttle missions, Brown talked about how humbling his brief adventures into space were.

Staring down at the planet from orbit, "it looks like the Earth is brand new," Brown said. "You loose your perspective of city, country, continent...and start thinking in terms of continent, planet, solar system."

The Hubble Space Telescope is clearly one of mankind's great technical achievements, and seeing its images of the far reaches of the universe is likely to similarly change anyone's perspective.

My own dad has always wanted to travel to Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to experience first-hand the thrill of a shuttle liftoff. With only a few remaining missions scheduled before NASA retires the orbiter fleet, I'm hopeful he is still able to make a launch.

I know one thing for sure. During his next trip to Dayton, dad and I will get front row seats for a shuttle liftoff and so much more when we experience Hubble together at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force's IMAX.

Beginning Friday, March 19, the museum's IMAX Theatre will show Hubble four times daily. For more information or ticket prices, visit  or call (937) 253-IMAX.