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Beyond Spaceship Earth lands at The Children’s Museum this June

We ‘launch’ this special 3-part series as a percursor to the upcoming Beyond Spaceship Earth permanent gallery and exhibit, opening at the Children’s Museum on June 25th. Why devote a series to this? Because everything we’ve seen to date has been astounding, from the renderings to the research to the opportunities for STEM learning. And because, well, it’s the Children’s Museum. And we’re blessed to have the greatest in the world. Here is part 1; watch for the rest by resident IC writer Pete Gilbert as he covers what will become your and our newest favorite reason to visit the Children’s Museum. 


There’s a new exhibit coming to the The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and it’s out of this world! Bad pun notwithstanding, TCM’s newest exhibit Beyond Spaceship Earth is like nothing the Museum has showcased before. It will be taking over the lower level of the Museum beginning June 25, 2016 where the former SpaceQuest Planetarium once was. The best part is – Beyond Spaceship Earth is like three exhibits in one.

Here’s a quick overview of what to expect:

The first part of the exhibit is a recreation of the inside of the International Space Station. The role science, technology, engineering, and math all play in space exploration is very much at the center of this exhibit. Kids will play STEM based games as they perform the same jobs real astronauts do aboard the International Space Station. While these games are still in development, we were able to obtain a rendering at what the inside of the exhibit will look like once construction is complete. How cool does this look?!?

Beyond Spaceship Earth _ Indy's Child Magazine
Image provided courtesy of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

The second portion of Beyond Spaceship Earth is the Astronaut Wall of Fame. The Astronaut Wall of Fame focuses on astronauts and engineers with ties to the state of Indiana {and believe me, there are more than I could even begin to imagine}, including Virgil Ivan “Gus” Grissom.

Beyond Spaceship Earth _ Indy's Child Magazine
Here’s a glimpse at Liberty Bell 7 when it rolled in to the Children’s Museum back in March 2016.

Grissom flew the space capsule Liberty Bell 7 in the second manned launch of NASA’s Project Mercury. It was a sub-orbital, 15-minute flight which Grissom’s nephew told us back in March required the astronaut to board the capsule in a less-than-glamourous manner: “He went in with a shoehorn and out with a can opener!”


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After reading about Gus and fellow Hoosier astronauts, the final portion of the exhibit allows you to actually see the Liberty Bell 7 space capsule!

This third section of the exhibit contains the all-new Schaefer Planetarium and Space Object Theater, an immersive space experience that once completed, is going to be spectacular. Here’s what the planned renderings for both the inside and outside of the planetarium look like.

Beyond Spaceship Earth _ Indy's Child Magazine
Inside {L} will contain the Liberty Bell 7 at the center of the Planetarium. Exterior pictured at right. Images provided courtesy of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Once all construction is complete, Indy’s Child will have more in-depth information about exhibit specifics, but wanted you to have this initial sneak peek to whet your appetite. Right now though, we know the exhibit opens in June and is sure to take you where no man, woman or child has gone before.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where we’ll explore more details about the Astronaut Wall Of Fame and the famous space-loving Hoosiers who will bedeck the wall, as well as Museum-resident-staff-expert astronaut David Wolf.

MORE INFO: Beyond Spaceship Earth opens at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on Saturday, June 25, 2016. Exhibit will be included with general admission. The Children’s Museum is located at 3000 N. Meridian Street in Indianapolis. Call {317} 334-4000 or visit their website for additional details.

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