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Yuri’s Night – After-action report

Our first Yuri’s Night was a great success! The event sold out despite being on a Monday night, and around 200 people celebrated the 49th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first flight into space. Thanks to all the folks who made it happen – especially Skot Deeming (aka ‘mrghosty’), my co-conspirator and the man who got the music organized.

We had hourly performances under the domeof the Planetarium (with DJ King Kobra, DJ Cyclist, DJ BEEKEENI, and The Shake), with some great retro-space video loops by mrghosty. In the Science Gallery, we had the Science Cafe, with UFO Researcher Chris Rutkowski, Mars Society chapter president Rob Dyck, meteorite hunter Ralph Croning, and Khal Sherriff from Project Whitecard, talking about the future of space exploration. Project Whitecard also had the demo of their new MMO game for NASA – “Astronaut: Moon, Mars and Beyond”. Ralph set up a meteorite “petting zoo”, and supplied the first prize for the costume contest: a real meteorite. Thanks to all the volunteers and our staff here at The Manitoba Museum for making the event happen.

What struck me the most was that the event didn’t segeregate between the “science geek” crowd and the “dance and party” crowd. Lots of the dancers came out to take in the Science Cafe, and some of the best questions in the crowd came from people I had not seen before at an event here. Rave reviews ensure we’ll be doing this again. besides, next year is the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s flight… I’m not letting *that* go past unmarked!

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Scott Young

Manager of Science Communications and Visitor Experiences

“Scott is the Planetarium Astronomer at the Manitoba Museum, developing astronomy and science programs. He has been an informal science educator for thirty years, working in the planetarium and science centre field both at The Manitoba Museum and also at the Alice G. Wallace Planetarium in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. Scott is an active amateur astronomer and a past-President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.”