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Strasenburgh Planetarium

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Dave McDowell must have had an air of mystery about him during his decades as an engineer at Eastman Kodak.

His neighbors, his friends, and even his family had no idea what he was working on, and Dave couldn't tell them, even though they had a lot of questions.

"Constantly, constantly," he recalled. "It was fun at parties sometimes; you would know the other people that were cleared, or had a pretty good idea of who they were, and you would talk in sort of coded words, 'Where are you working? I'm over at Lincoln Plant, Unit 7.' "

The Strasenburgh Planetarium at the Rochester Museum & Science Center is using the facility’s new digital projection system to show off a new program called "The Eagle has Landed," which re-creates what the Apollo 11 astronauts saw outside the window of the lunar module as they landed.

The show uses archival film and audio to enhance the experience for those watching the show.

Katie Epner/WXXI News

A $1.2 million renovation project at the Strasenburgh Planetarium at the Rochester Museum & Science Center is now complete, and grand reopening celebrations begin Saturday.

The planetarium had been closed since November to make the upgrades. Planetarium director Steve Fentress said the upgrades were overdue.

“For 20 years, our customers have been saying that, ‘I loved coming to this place as a kid, but boy, it really needs an upgrade,’ and at last it’s been done.”