Thursday morning, the South Carolina State Museum will begin construction on a $23 million expansion of a new observatory, digital dome planetarium and theater, and 4D theater. Further background on expansion.
Museum supporters have been raising private funds for the expansion. Another gift to the project will be announced Thursday.
Columbia native Charles Bolden, administrator of NASA, will join students from the Challenger Center of Richland School District One in launching model rockets to symbolize the liftoff of the expansion.
Museum officials says the expansion, called Windows to New Worlds will add or renovate approximately 70,000 square feet of museum space.