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Relics Of The Space Race, School Planetariums Are An Endangered Species

Once there were more than 350 planetariums in schools around the country. But now their numbers are shrinking. They’re getting old, and so schools have a choice: Keep the stars shining, or turn the lights out for good.

To explain how hundreds of schools around the country got a planetarium in the first place, you have to look not into outer space, but back through time. And over time, schools have had to decide to either pay for expensive upkeep, or get rid of the planetarium all together.