Rocket Park Mini Golf Press Release
Queens, NY – Forget castles and motorized clowns – when visiting New York Hall of Science’s Rocket Park Mini Golf, players will need to use rocket science to make it through this miniature golf course.
With two real NASA rockets looming in the background, Rocket Park Mini Golf reveals that the same laws of motion and gravity that guide the path of a spaceship control the motion of golf balls here on Earth.
The exhibition, designed by Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership, uses vibrant colors and graphics reminiscent of the 60s Space Age. “We really enjoyed the challenge of bringing ‘rocket science’ down to Earth in a way that would excite and delight people of all ages, even while they learned real physics!” said Lee H. Skolnick, FAIA and Principal of Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership.
Players will explore key science concepts such as propulsion, thrust, gravity, escape velocity, launch window, gravitational assist and more as they putt their way the through nine holes:
- Launch Window – In order to reach Saturn, players must pick the right time to launch their “rocket” through turning, intersecting elliptical orbits with planets and other celestial matter that will hinder its trajectory.
- Blast Off! – Visitors are challenged to shoot their ball up an inclined ramp with just the right amount of velocity to “blast off” a model rocket up a gantry.
- Zero Gravity – Visitors attempt to putt their golf ball at the correct speed and path to send their ball through a loop-the-loop structure that simulates the effects of “zero” gravity.
- Earth’s Orbit – Players attempt to putt their golf ball at the correct speed and angle to send their “rocket” up a ramp and into geosynchronous orbit.
- Space Docking – Spaceflight sometimes involves complex and exacting maneuvers and at this hole players must putt into one of four space shuttle-shaped targets on rotating disk in order to reach an International Space Station model.
- Space Junk – To avoid a collision, players must putt their ball over a rotating disk cluttered with simulated “space junk.”
- Gravity Whip – Spacecrafts can use the gravitational pull of a planet to change their course. This hole challenges players to use gravitational assist in the form of a curving path around the Moon to curve the trajectory of their ball in the right direction towards Jupiter.
- Re-Entry Angle – Players must putt their ball at a proper re-entry angle through the one correct “entry area” so that their “rocket” is slowed down by the simulated atmosphere to safely land on the Earth.
- Splash Down – Visitors aim to shoot their golf ball across the putting green and into a skee-ball type mechanism with a model of the Earth as its main target.
Admission to Rocket Park Mini Golf is $6 for adults and $5 for children and seniors, in addition to general NYSCI admission. Rocket Park Mini Golf is open April – November, weather permitting.
Rocket Park Mini Golf is made possible with generous support from:
The Kupferberg Foundation; United States Department of Education; New York State Education Department; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Major operating and capital support is provided by New York City through the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Office of the Queens Borough President, and the New York City Council.
Design: Lee H. Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership
Construction: Big Show Construction Management
About The New York Hall of Science
The New York Hall of Science – The mission of the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) is to nurture generations of passionate learners, critical thinkers and active citizens through an approach called Design, Make, Play. Design, Make, Play emphasizes open-ended exploration, imaginative learning and personal relevance, resulting in deep engagement and delight in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. NYSCI was founded at the 1964-65 World’s Fair and has evolved into New York’s center for interactive science serving a half million students, teachers and families each year.
NYSCI is open Monday – Friday, 9:30 am – 5 pm and weekends, 10 am – 6 pm. General admission is $16 for adults and $13 for children (ages 2-17), college students with valid ID, and seniors (62+).
For more information, visit nysci.org or call 718-699-0005.
Follow NYSCI on Twitter and Instagram: @nysci, and on Facebook at: facebook.com/nysci.
Mary Record, New York Hall of Science