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Lucerne Valley to Receive Customized Observatory Space with Help from Renowned Astronaut

LUCERNE VALLEY, Calif. ( – The Lucerne Valley Janice Horst Branch Library and two other remote-access locations are set to welcome a customized observatory space, thanks to an agreement approved by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors.

The collaboration with Tierra Luna Engineering, LLC, led by renowned astronaut Dr. Jose Hernandez, aims to design, replicate, and install this state-of-the-art interactive space themed observatory display.

Dr. Hernandez, a former migrant farmworker and NASA astronaut, is best known as the inspiring figure behind the upcoming 2023 feature film “A Million Miles Away.”

With his expertise in aerospace engineering, Tierra Luna Engineering specializes in producing world-class science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) educational products.

The board has given the green light for the purchase and installation of a 3-meter motorized ScopeDome at the library.

This cutting-edge addition will enhance students’ exposure to real-world, career-focused, hands-on STEAM educational programs, with a particular emphasis on space science.

Supervisor Rowe, whose Third District includes Lucerne Valley, shared his enthusiasm for the project:

“This initiative will provide the county with an exceptional opportunity to engage students in STEAM educational resources, while promoting community involvement. By inspiring young minds, we can contribute to the future of math and science careers, aligning with our national goal.”

The transformative partnership between Tierra Luna and the Lucerne Valley Janice Horst Branch Library aims to make STEAM education more accessible and enriching, keeping pace with the growing demand for skilled professionals in STEM fields. This exciting venture is poised to bring the universe closer to Lucerne Valley and ignite curiosity in generations to come.

Based on an observatory project quote submitted to the County, the estimated cost is $193,808.41, which includes the 3-meter motorized ScopeDome with a EdgeHD 925 and SkyWatcher ESPRIT 100 ED with robotic focus and rotation, QHY imaging and guide cameras, while being remotely controlled.

Second District Supervisor Jesse Armendarez, Fifth District Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr., Board Chair and Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe, and Fourth District Curt Hgman voted in favor of the motion.

San Bernardino County Vice Chairman Col. Paul Cook (Ret.) was absent from the meeting.

The other two remote access locations have yet to be determined.

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