The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum unveils new state-of-the art
digital technology in its Albert Einstein Planetarium on Saturday, April 13,
during a day of free activities for visitors. A new feature, “Infinity
Express: A 20-Minute Tour of the Universe,” will showcase this technology,
which creates the sensation of movement for the planetarium audience. Actor
Laurence Fishburne is the narrator.

The National Air and Space Museum will celebrate the grand opening of
“Infinity Express” with free showings at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 5:30 p.m. and
6 p.m. on April 13. Tickets will be available at the Einstein Planetarium
box office on a first-come, first-served basis.

From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., free, hands-on demonstrations throughout the
museum will explore the science of aviation and space flight. They include
“Forces of Flight,” “Living and Working in Space” and model airplane

The renowned Zeiss VI-a star projector remains at the center of the Einstein
Planetarium’s SkyVision projection system. The new digital all-dome system
adds 12 powerful projectors to pump seamlessly blended space imagery onto
the entire surface of the 70-foot-high planetarium dome. The images extend
beyond the visitors’ peripheral vision, creating the sensation of a
three-dimensional journey through the cosmos. The Albert Einstein
Planetarium is the first planetarium in the world to feature this particular

“With this new digital all-dome technology we will meet the challenge of
providing solid educational content that is both engaging and fun,” said
Gen. John R. Dailey, director of the National Air and Space Museum. “This
important upgrade keeps the Einstein Planetarium at the forefront of the
planetarium industry and will inspire the next generation of space

“Infinity Express: A 20-Minute Tour of the Universe” will give full reign to
the dazzling capabilities of the newly installed projection system. Visitors
begin their journey at a casual gathering of stargazers only to be whisked
away through a raging storm of space data imagery streaming across the
planetarium dome. Audiences will feel as though they are zooming through the
solar system, past the Milky Way, to the very edges of the cosmos.

Utilizing the latest data from space, including images from the Hubble Space
Telescope and the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, “Infinity Express”
explores the questions humans have asked for thousands of years: How big is
the universe? Where does it end? Are we alone? “Infinity Express”
demonstrates the science of discovery and just how far humans have come
since Copernicus sought to prove that the sun, not the Earth, was the center
of our solar system.

Today most people live in urban areas where light pollution makes it
impossible to see much more than the brightest stars and planets.
Planetariums offer an accurate representation of the entire night sky and a
variety of programming capable of exploring deep into space, making them
ideal teaching tools.

The Zeiss VI-a projector was presented by West Germany to the United States
as a bicentennial gift when the National Air and Space Museum opened in July
1976. It continues to produce highly accurate representations of the night
sky and the most spectacular star fields seen in planetariums today.

“Infinity Express,” co-produced with Sky-Skan, Inc., is presented daily in
the Albert Einstein Planetarium. General admission is $7.50 for adults and
$6 for students and seniors. For more information, call (202) 357-2700.

The program’s narration is available in English, French, German, Japanese
and Spanish. Open-captioning for hearing impaired visitors and audio
descriptions for visually impaired members of the audience are available.

High resolution images are available at
Please contact Peter Golkin for login and password.

The National Air and Space Museum, located at Sixth Street and Independence
Avenue S.W., is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m (Closed
Christmas Day). The museum will open at 9 a.m. from Monday, May 27, through
Monday, Sept. 2. Admission is free.