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Planetarium Timeline

1947 Construction of Morehead Planetarium begins.

1949 Morehead Planetarium opens to the public; Dr. Roy K. Marshall named director.

1951 Anthony Jenzano becomes Morehead’s second Director.

1959 Astronauts begin training at Morehead.

1969 New Zeiss VI star projector installed, replacing the Zeiss II.

1973 The east wing of the building completed, including the Morehead Observatory.

1975 As NASA shifts to the shuttle and navigational computers become more reliable, astronaut training at Morehead comes to an end.

1982 Dr. Lee Shapiro becomes the planetarium’s third director.

1984 Computer automation of programs introduced to Star Theater.

1989 Astronauts return to Morehead to celebrate the planetarium’s 40th anniversary, 30th anniversary of the Mercury program and 20th anniversary of the Moon landing.

1999 Morehead Planetarium celebrates its 50th anniversary as it welcomes its 5 millionth visitor.

2001 Dr. Holden Thorp becomes the planetarium’s fourth director.

2002 The planetarium is renamed Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to reflect an expanded mission to educate North Carolinians about all sciences.

2003 Morehead collaborates with Dr. James Watson to produce the film, “DNA: The Secret of Life.”

2006 Dr. Todd Boyette becomes the planetarium’s fifth director.

2010 Morehead installs new fulldome digital projection system, renames Star Theater as GlaxoSmithKline Fulldome Theater.

2010 Morehead creates the North Carolina Science Festival.

2011 Morehead decommissions its Zeiss VI star projector after 42 years of service.