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Space Technology Past and Future at the SMC Planetarium

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By Lookout Staff

October 19, 2021 -- The Santa Monica College (SMC) planetarium looks back at the impacts of space technology on our daily lives and forward to the imminent launch of a spaceship that will take us anywhere in the inner solar system.

The final two free, live virtual shows of the month at the John Dresher Planetarium take place Fridays at 8 p.m.

They are preceded by a streamlined, virtual digest of the popular Night Sky Show at 7 p.m. that offers the latest news in astronomy and space exploration.

On Friday, October 22, the planetarium presents “NASA Spinoffs” with Assistant Lecturer Sarah Vincent.

The show offers "an exciting review of how America’s space program and its space technology has changed the lives of almost every human on Earth."

On Friday, October 29, Senior Lecturer Jim Mahon presents “Starship: SpaceX’s Big, Shiny Object,” in anticipation of Starship's first orbital test flight that could possibly come as soon as the end of this year.

"On the Texas Gulf Coast, near the border with Mexico, SpaceX has been developing an enormous reusable booster/spacecraft called Starship, and the massive launch facilities to test fly it," event organizers said.

"The stainless-steel behemoth is expected to carry cargo and humans anywhere in the inner Solar System, using orbital refueling."

According to, "These test flights of Starship are all about improving our understanding and development of a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration interplanetary flights."

The flights will "help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond."

Currently, the planetarium is using the Zoom platform. To attend the shows, the Zoom software version 5.0 or higher must be installed on the viewer’s computer. A free download is available at

"The shows include the chance to chat with the planetarium lecturers and ask questions related to astronomy and space exploration," planetarium officials said.

More information is available online at or by calling 310-434-3005. Shows are subject to change or cancellation without notice.

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