Highland Road Park Observatory


Thursday, 4 December from 5:00 am to 11:00 am

Free and for all ages.

After over forty years (since the venerable Apollo mission) and a generation wondering about our past and future travels, a United States crew vehicle will venture beyond low-Earth orbit! This unmanned test flight is the beginning of a new era in space exploration! HRPO personnel will screen the live broadcast—from launch to splashdown and recovery by the United States Navy in the Pacific Ocean. Seems like old times! During this event there will be refreshments, games and viewing of Jupiter and the Sun. The first eighty people (over the age of eight) to arrive will receive an assembly-required desk model of Orion itself; limit two per household.


  • 5:00 am to 5:30 am = Jupiter Viewing
  • Patrons are afforded a sneak preview of the largest planet of our Solar System and its moons.
  • 5:00 am to 6:00 am = Updates from Flight Control Team
  • This will include information on pre-launch operations, and statements from key mission personnel.
  • 6:05 am = Orion Launch
  • 6:20 am = Orion Reaches Boundary of Space
  • 6:30 am = Orion-Related Games Begin
  • 7:00 am to 10:20 am = Direct Imagery from Orion
  • 9:30 am to 11:00 am = Solar Viewing
  • Solar activity is still quite high, and there is a good chance for patrons to see sunspots and flares. Hats and sunscreen are recommended.
  • 10:30 am = Splashdown
  • Orion lands in the Pacific Ocean and will be recovered by the United States Navy.

A thread has been started in the B.R.A.S. Forum for those who desire to post comments or questions. Click the heading of this page to access that thread.





  • Please do not set up any lawn chair or other equipment on the ground without receiving direction from HRPO personnel.
  • If a telescope is not in operation, please do not handle it in any way. If a telescope is in operation, please wait until it’s your turn and place your eye to the eyepiece without touching the telescope.
  • No glass containers are allowed.
  • Pets must remain under control and on a leash at all times.
  • Litter and refuse are to be placed in proper receptacles.
  • Alcohol, smoking and loud music are not allowed. Please utilize headphones or earphones so that only you hear your music.
  • It is illegal for any person to be on BREC property after dark, unless at an event staffed by personnel. HRPO grounds are the only BREC property on which the public is invited for this event. There will be no arriving on HRPO grounds before 5:00 am.

Back to top

Updated by Frederick J. Barnett on Tuesday, December 02, 2014 7:42:30 AM.