Blast off with Beyond Spaceship Earth

Children and families will blast off into space and explore science, technology, engineering and math in a whole new way at a new exhibit this summer.

Hoosier native Dr. David Wolf was a NASA astronaut; but you may not realize his fingerprints are inside and out of the International Space Station (ISS). That’s because he actually helped build it and The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis used his unique perspective to help create Beyond Spaceship Earth.

The out-of-this-world experience will feature a recreation of portions of the inside of the ISS; a one-of-a-kind, immersive space object experience called the Schaefer Planetarium & Space Object Theater. Also, an Astronaut Wall of Fame will pay tribute to astronauts with ties to Indiana. Believe it or not, there are more than 30 people who have such ties. Gus Grissom is one of them. The Mitchell, Indiana native piloted the second manned space capsule, Liberty Bell 7, which will raise and lower on a pedestal within the reimagined planetarium as visitors watch a film about its voyage giving them a feeling like they’re floating in space alongside it.

Families will be stunned to learn fascinating factoids about the ISS, an orbiting laboratory that is as long as a football field in which six people live and conduct experiments from countries around the world.

We’ve all seen video of people floating around in space. But how do they conduct daily chores, how do they grow plants when plants, dirt and water float in microgravity? How do astronauts create a schedule when they have 16 sunrises a day as they orbit the Earth every 90 minutes? These kinds of questions are likely to grip the attention of people of all ages – driving the message home that anything is possible. Through supplemental programs and actor interpreters, the museum will inspire children to get ready for anything they might do in the future by using logic and their powers of imagination.

You don’t have to aspire to be an astronaut to be fascinated by the experience. The principles necessary for successful spaceflight include many different fields from mechanics through food preparation to medicine. Visitors will be able to see how plants grow in space, how astronauts exercise in microgravity and view what they see from space through rich video provided by NASA. It’s all about inspiring the next generation to meet challenges and improve our quality of life here on Earth. Beyond Spaceship Earth opens June 25, 2016.

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