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The planetarium's door is open for the noon show. A few families and some more grandparents trickle in and wait for the lights to dim and the constellations to shine and the lasers to flash. For every chair taken, another three are empty. There are just enough people to make turning on the stars seem worthwhile.
In the astronaut-training simulator, the recorded voice repeats, "Is there a remote chance that there's an astronaut trainee that can help me on this? Does anyone read me?" Fewer than 10 feet away, another robotic voice warns of technical failures.
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