Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

Located within the Museum, the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium is named after the Grand Rapids-born astronaut who lost his life in the 1967 Apollo 1 spacecraft fire. 

The radically updated Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium is now open.

Visit the galaxy from the most comfortable seat in the house. With 1.2 million dollars in renovations, all of the brand new shows will feature the latest Digistar projection technology and immersive surround sound for an unbelievably rich and realistic experience. Recline, relax and experience the incredible forces of our universe.


  • Dynamic Earth - Explore Earth's climate engine from monster hurricanes to erupting volcanoes. Narrated by Liam Neeson.
  • The Little Star that Could - Learn about our solar system through Little Star as he searches for planets of his own to protect and warm.
  • Violent Universe - Witness the forces that hold the universe together and occasionally try to rip it apart. Narrated by Patrick Stewart.
  • Under Springtime Skies - Explore the spring and summer sky! Experience the beauty and realism of the brand new Chaffee Planetarium in this live show.

Programs are $4 per person (visitors must also purchase general admission), and are free to Museum members.

Teachers! Information about student group visits here.




The Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium upgrade was made possible through the generous support of the Wege Foundation. Additional support for the upgrade was received from the Cook Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Frey Foundation, Baldwin Foundation, Rockford Construction Company, Inc., David DeBruyn, and American Seating. Thank you!



For information on other events in West Michigan visit the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association online at


Dynamic Earth

Explore Earth's climate engine.

*Public showing times have changed to 2 p.m. for the following dates:

April 22nd, 23rd, 25th, and 30th

May 2nd, 8th, 13th, and 22nd 

March 15, 2014 - May 23, 2014
Sunday1 p.m., 4 p.m.
Monday1 p.m.
Tuesday1 p.m.
Wednesday1 p.m.
Thursday1 p.m.
Friday1 p.m.
Saturday1 p.m., 4 p.m.

The Little Star That Could

Learn about our solar system through Little Star.

*Public showing times have changed to 12 p.m. for April 22nd, 30th and May 20th

*There will be no public showing on May 2nd 

March 15, 2014 - May 20, 2014
Monday11 a.m.
Tuesday11 a.m.
Wednesday11 a.m.
Thursday11 a.m.
Friday11 a.m.
Saturday11 a.m.

Violent Universe

Witness the forces of the universe.

March 15, 2014 - May 2, 2014
Sunday2 p.m.
Tuesday7 p.m.
Saturday2 p.m.

Under Springtime Skies

Explore the spring and summer sky! 

April 15, 2014 - June 18, 2014
Sunday3 p.m.
Saturday3 p.m.