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Press Releases

Union Station Unveils Stunning New Space Exploration Experiences at Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium

New, eye-popping projection system combines with massive new library of content and direct feed of NASA astronomical data to make guest experience out of this world.

KANSAS CITY, MO – This morning, Union Station officials announced yet another substantial investment in their lineup of world-class attractions. Specifically, this latest round of commitments position what was already an industry leader and guest favorite – the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium – for even more growth by tripling the brightness of the awe-inspiring dome projections and adding more new content to the massive astronomical library, including a direct feed from NASA.

“When we sat down late last week for a staff preview of our new Planetarium technology, we were literally taken to a place beyond our expectations,” George Guastello, Union Station president and CEO, said.  “With the ongoing support from the Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation*, we’re able to maintain our leadership position in the industry and, most importantly, continue inspiring guests of all ages toward a life-long love of science.  This is a fully immersive experience that simply can’t be found at home.  It’s time for everyone to dream big and travel beyond the pull of our planet.”

 This substantial upgrade delivers an impressive guest experience and includes . . .

  • 4K HDR Projection with 3X the brightness and color saturation of previous system
  • Solid-State Laser-Phosphor light source that’s more energy and environmentally friendly
  • 1,000,000:1 Contrast Ratio for brilliant, life-like star tours and educational adventures
  • Adaptive laser output to create images as close to human perception as possible
  • Latest software upgrades from RSA Cosmos including expanded content library and stunning 3D volumetric simulations of deep-space objects and nebulae
  • Real-time astronomical data – as it’s discovered – straight to Union Station from NASA

“This has been a year-long project and we couldn’t be more excited to unveil it to our Members and guests,” Jerry Baber, Union Station executive vice president and COO, said.  “Space exploration globally is standing on the threshold of a huge leap forward.  The people who will fuel it for decades to come are sitting in school classrooms right now. They are the dreamers and doers of tomorrow and Union Station is proud to be an essential resource to reach them, their families, educators and caregivers with content that’s like rocket fuel for the imaginations.  Our Planetarium is their literal launch pad into a world we could have only dreamed about one or two generations ago.”

Planetarium projection and program technology have changed on a galactic scale since Union Station’s facility first opened 21 years ago.

 “Planetarium educators like me and many others are now able to share the Midwest’s most detailed and clear 360-degree views of the cosmos normally invisible to the naked eye or limited through the lens of a telescope,” Patrick Hess, Union Station’s Planetarium Manager, said.  “With the click of a mouse, guests will be transported around the globe, into the tiniest particles, back to the age of dinosaurs and into real-time space via massive data sets sourced from international space and scientific institutions.  During our Skystation Live dome tours, guests will experience Kansas City’s night sky exactly how it looks tonight . . . of course without the light pollution and other distortions that obscure your normal backyard view.  I literally hear gasps from our audiences when the true cosmos is revealed to them for the first breathtaking time in our Planetarium.”

Kansas City is a STEM community. Science matters and each day it drives a larger and larger part of our economy. When experts refer to astronomy as the ‘Biggest Science,’ it’s because it’s inclusive and is often the first spark that captures young imaginations and minds. It’s the stepping off point to a life-long love of science.

As well, science education is a pillar of Union Station’s mission as they continue moving in bold steps to deliver fascinating, world-class content to area students, families, and groups of every kind.

General admission to the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium is $8 for public and $4 for Members. New shows are regularly rotated into the lineup.  For the latest program schedule and to purchase advance tickets, visit


*Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation – Peter W. Brown, Barton J. Cohen, UMB Bank, N.A., as Trustees

ABOUT Union Station Kansas City – a 501(c)3 non-profit organization –is a 107-year-old historical landmark and celebrated civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. Recently awarded “Favorite Attraction”, “Favorite Family-Friendly Attraction” and “Favorite Historic Attraction”, the organization – dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history – is home to Kansas City’s internationally-awarded Science City; the new Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre; the popular Model Train Gallery; City Stage featuring live theater, and a selection of unique shops and restaurants. Union Station is also home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses, and regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Awarded “Top Banquet Facilities in KC” by KC Business Journal, the facility annually hosts hundreds of community events and private celebrations of all sizes. Also, follow us on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and YOUTUBE.

Union Station Contact:
Michael Tritt | 
C: 913.219.6890 [email protected]