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NEWS | June 22, 2022

NRL at Astronomy Festival on the National Mall

By Michelle Patten, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Corporate Communications

U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) astronomers and researchers will showcase space-related programs and technologies, during the Astronomy Festival on the National Mall (AFNM) June 25 from 6 to 11 p.m. EDT.

NRL exhibits are scheduled to include a long wavelength array antenna, h-alpha telescope, solar telescope, along with information on NRL’s student internship programs.

Also scheduled to be displayed are models of NRL’s Solar Orbiter Heliospheric Imager (SoloHI) and Vanguard satellite. Vanguard was the second U.S. satellite in Earth orbit launched in March 1958. SoloHI is the camera on board ESA/NASA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft which launched in February 2020 to study the Sun.

“The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory has a storied history of pioneering space research,” said Jason Kooi, Ph.D., NRL research physicist in the High Angular Resolution Imaging Section. “In order for NRL to continue to be at the forefront of space research, we must not only attract the talented new astronomers and scientists of this generation, but we must also look ahead and inspire the next generation of space enthusiasts. The Astronomy Festival on the National Mall is a great event to showcase NRL research in astronomy, excite the K-12 crowd, and promote important student programs at NRL.”

This free public festival will take place on the National Mall between 3rd to 4th Streets, SW, across from the National Museum of the American Indian. Closest metro stop is Federal Center SW.

The Astronomy Festival on the National Mall will be presented in association with the Smithsonian Solstice Saturday events ( The Smithsonian Natural History, Arts and Industries, Castle, African Art, Freer and Sackler Galleries, and Folklife Festival will be open until midnight with free programs and performances.

The event is organized by Donald Lubowich, Ph.D., coordinator of astronomy outreach at Hofstra University. Updates for the event will be posted at: There is no rain date.  

Other participants include: Amateur Observers’ Society of NY, American Association of Physics Teachers, American University, Ball Aerospace & Technology, Carnegie Science/ Carnegie Academy for Science Education, Catholic University of America, Chandra X-ray Observatory & NASA's Universe of Learning, George Mason University, Georgetown University, Goddard Astronomy Club, International Dark Sky Association, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, International Occultation Timing Association, Montgomery College NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, National Air and Space Museum, National Capital Astronomers, National Center Earth Space Science Education, NSF’s NOIRlab, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, National Science Foundation, Northern Virginia Astronomy Club, The Planetary Society, Space Telescope Science Institute (HST), the Trust for the National Mall, and U.S. Naval Observatory.

About the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

NRL is a scientific and engineering command dedicated to research that drives innovative advances for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps from the seafloor to space and in the information domain. NRL is located in Washington, D.C. with major field sites in Stennis Space Center, Mississippi; Key West, Florida; Monterey, California, and employs approximately 3,000 civilian scientists, engineers and support personnel.
For more information, contact NRL Corporate Communications at (202) 309-7259 or

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