Blast Off This Weekend

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NBC Connecticut

If you are looking for an experience that is ‘out of this world,’ look no further than the Space Expo at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks this Sunday.

With more than sixteen exhibits and several organizations present, it is an event that brings the magic of space exploration to the public.

"It’s an all-day affair, you’ll have a chance to talk to an astronaut, which is always interesting, and you have events that will basically tie in with the Mars program," said Don Renthke, a former Hamilton Sundstrand engineer.

Displays such as a Connecticut-made NASA spacesuit and a rocket station are sure to please, but some of the bigger attractions are the space explorers themselves.

Rethke said astronauts, like Waterbury native Rick Mastracchio, will be available to answer questions from visitors. Mastracchio is a veteran of three shuttle missions and has several local ties to the state.

"He is going to give two talks. He is also a former employee of Hamilton Sundstrand and a graduate of UConn," explained Rethke.

The most popular exhibit of all, however, brings the Apollo 13 mission to life. Rethke was an engineer for the historic flight, and says he enjoys sharing his experience with young visitors.

"It’s the young kids, they’ll learn about space a little bit here and maybe expand their own thoughts about what they want to do when they get older."

So, if you are in the mood to ‘take-off’ for the weekend, the Space Expo just might be the destination you had in mind. It is open all day Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

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