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Earth Day Festivities Feature Astronaut Story Musgrave on April 22 at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (April 20, 2015) — KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex guests can celebrate Earth Day on April 22 with a full slate of earth-centric presentations, displays and a special Astronaut Encounter with NASA astronaut Story Musgrave.

Earth Day at the Visitor Complex offers guests the opportunity to hear about the efforts to solve environmental challenges from experts and exhibitors, view Earth from a new perspective during an extraordinary Astronaut Encounter with Musgrave and find out how NASA Earth Science Missions and technology spinoffs are helping scientists and farmers better care for the planet.

The day begins with a ceremony at 9:45 a.m. led by Kelvin Manning, associate director of Kennedy Space Center, and Therrin Protze, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., discover more than 50 exhibitors and displays, including Canaveral National Seashore, Brevard Zoo, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, General Motors and NASA Energy Working Group. Exhibitors will give brief presentations throughout the day in NASA Central and the Rocket Garden.

Notable displays include FIRST® Robotics Team’s recycling robot demonstrating the benefits of recycling, and alternative fuel vehicles supplied by NASA on display in the Rocket Garden, giving guests a glimpse at what the future of transportation may look like. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is planting a butterfly garden near the Rocket Garden, inviting guests to join the fun by planting flowers. An opportunity to see owls cared for by The Florida Wildlife Hospital is also available.

From 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., speakers will address the importance of caring for the environment and how it affects the future of life on Earth. Marie Zanowick Bourgeois, an environmental engineer and biomimicry specialist from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, discusses new approaches to current environmental challenges. The study of biomimicry looks for new ways of living that benefit life on Earth now and for future generations. Other speakers include Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and John Dodson, a farmer from Halls, Tenn., who explains how NASA developed technology benefits today’s farming.

Keynote speaker Musgrave will perform and present his piece called, "In Touch, and in Love with the Cosmos—the Heavens, the Earth, and all the Other Creatures on the Journey.” This remarkable presentation looks at the beauty of Earth as seen from space, the air and the ground and the ecological design, engineering and creation of sustainable and green landscapes.

All the exhibits and presentations are included with Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission. The Visitor Complex will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 22.