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Mobile Planetarium: Shooting for the Stars!

Raised toward our $8,000 Goal
76 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on March 19, at 11:55 PM CDT
Project Owners

Mobile Planetarium: Shooting for the Stars!

It's not too late to support our project! Click here to visit our current fundraising page and make a gift of any size today.


The U of A's Center for Space and Planetary Sciences is raising funds for a new mobile planetarium!




Space Hogs is a registered student organization at the University of Arkansas. We aim to promote interest in space and planetary science while educating the community through various outreach events. We host events such as talks, movie nights, planetarium shows, meteor shower observations, and both day and night sky observations. Space Hogs has been dedicated to enriching astronomy education in Northwest Arkansas for over a decade now, leading and attending hundreds of community events at schools, churches, community centers, and more.

Space Hogs members at the 2017 total solar eclipse (Fulton High School, Missouri) 




As part of the Center for Space and Planetary Sciences at the U of A, we have used the same inflatable planetarium for decades. This planetarium has been a great tool for educating K-12 students and the general public about the wonders of the universe. However, our late-1970s StarLab model has significant wear and tear from all the use it has seen over the years. 


Additionally, scientific discoveries vastly outpace the production of our current planetarium's hardware. We need to be able to present the most up-to-date and accurate information to our audiences, and a new StarLab planetarium will do a much better job facilitating this. Digital projectors can receive new programs, as opposed to the physical cylinders that we currently use which are extremely restricted in use. We will be able to show Pluto's surface, 360 degree images taken from rovers on Mars, the moons of Jupiter that were not even discovered when our current planetarium was made, and so much more.

Our team of astronomy and planetary science graduate students is working to raise money for a brand new StarLab, a mobile planetarium package that features state-of-the-art software and a five-meter portable dome. This technology immerses viewers in virtual reality field trips without having to leave the school’s campus! These engaging experiences will reach thousands of students at the University of Arkansas, as well as thousands of students and families at community events around the state. With a new StarLab, we will take our audiences on voyages to distant planets, star-filled skies, and even the center of the Earth, all guided by our graduate students and professors.

Late-1970's model of the StarLab planetarium that we currently use




Your contributions will allow us to present the newest and most accurate space science to the community, which will inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists, and astronauts!


Because we are asking the community for help in funding this, we want to be sure that the community comes first. That is why we are including opportunities to be listed as an official sponsor of the planetarium and be invited to the first, private showing in the new StarLab once full funding has been achieved. Donating at any giving level includes all perks from the lower levels. 


If you are unable to donate at the $166 level, this does not mean you will never get the chance to see the planetarium. We gladly accept gifts of all sizes, and we ask you to keep us in mind for future astronomy outreach events. Once purchased, this planetarium will remain free to use for the entire community for many years to come, leaving a lasting impact on Northwest Arkansas and the state as a whole.




Your support of this 30-day campaign is critical on our mission to reach our full funding! The total cost of a new StarLab planetarium is $30,000, which includes the dome, projector, control system, and training. Just as every space mission is broken into planning stages, this crowdfunding campaign is the first step in our overall funding strategy, which includes grants and additional funding sources. This first $8,000 will purchase the dome and control system, making great progress towards our final goal.


Our team is passionate about the planetarium and committed to reaching this goal as quickly as possible. We would be over the moon excited to raise the full amount through this campaign and take the planetarium on the road this summer! All gifts will be earmarked for the planetarium purchase and all donors will be updated on our progress. In the unlikely event full funding is not met within two to three years, gifts will be used within the spirit given to purchase other equipment and supplies that will enhance our community outreach activities well into the future.


Thank you!

     - Space Hogs

Choose a giving level


Planetary Support Package

Show your support for all 8 planets in the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Thank you for helping bring astronomy and planetary science education to Northwest Arkansas.


Houston, We Have a Backer

Celebrate the historic Apollo 11 mission, which landed humans on the Moon for the first time in 1969. As our way of thanking you for your support, we will send you a signed thank you note featuring a beautiful picture of the cosmos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.


Nice Ally of Space & Astronomy

The real NASA, or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, was founded in the year 1958. By backing our campaign at this level, you're also a NASA: a Nice Ally of Space and Astronomy! We thank you for your amazing support towards reaching our goal.


Become a Star Supporter

One of our favorite programs is our stars and constellations show, so this giving level celebrates the 88 constellations officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union. Although we can't name a constellation after you, we will list you as an official sponsor of the planetarium using a name of your choosing (subject to our approval). Sponsors will either be listed on a sign that we bring with the planetarium or displayed before planetarium shows if we are able to implement a customized intro.


Out of this World

You've officially reached the cruising altitude of Lower Earth Orbit when you circle the Earth every 128 minutes or less. It's a real milestone achievement, as is your donation to our campaign! Thank you!


True Galactic Hero

The entire Milky Way galaxy weighs about the same as 166 quadrillion Earths. That accounts for every single star, planet, comet, dark matter particle, and speck of dust in the galaxy. Wow! As our way of saying thank you for backing this campaign at such an incredible level, you will be invited to see the planetarium in a private showing as soon as we have it up and running. The exact number of invitations is to be determined.


Expanding Universe of Learning

Edwin Hubble is credited as being the first person to measure the expansion of the Universe at 500 kilometers/second/megaparsec. This drastically changed our view of the entire Universe. By giving us a gift at this level you are truly helping expand our Universe of learning on an astronomical level. You will be invited to come on a tour of the planetary science laboratories here at the University of Arkansas and spend some personal time with the members of Space Hogs to talk about any space-related questions you have. Additionally, you will be recognized as a leading sponsor of the planetarium.