GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Public Museum will reopen its planetarium this weekend after months of renovations.
The Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium was closed in September 2013 and crews have been working all winter to upgrade technology, seating, design and display. It will reopen this Saturday, March 15.
The $1.2 million renovation was funded by the Wege Foundation, the Cook Foundation, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Frey Foundation, the Baldwin Foundation, Rockford Construction Company, Inc., David L. DeBruyn and American Seating, according to a release from the museum.
The planetarium is named for Apollo 1 astronaut Roger Bruce Chaffee, who was from Grand Rapids. On Jan. 27, 1967, Chaffee and the two other astronauts of Apollo 1, Gus Grissom and Edward White, were killed in a flash fire in the ship’s command module.
Chaffee will be honored with a special dedication film at Saturday’s reopening.
Since it was built in 1994, the planetarium has averaged 60,000 visitors annually. Many school groups visit the planetarium, which offers sky shows, laser light shows and concerts.