"CHOMP!" Takes a Bite Out of Space Science

When thinking of animals and space, chimpanzees or dogs may come to mind, but what do snakes, alligators, or even mountain goats have to do with space travel? Space Center Houston answers all this and more with its exciting new exhibit, “CHOMP! The Science of Survival”. Now open and free with admission, you and your family can enter the world of CHOMP! where you can stand eye-to-eye with some of nature’s creepiest, most dangerous creatures.

Science of Survival

Entering the exhibit is almost like entering a small town on the bayou. The structures are covered with bamboo and leaves, and there are themed activities everywhere you look. Even the stage, complete with life-size jaw bones of snakes and sharks, seems a perfect backdrop for the live-animal shows.

Have you ever wanted to hold a live snake? Our new show gives you that opportunity plus you’ll get the chance to learn about local venomous snakes and what to do if you happen to be bitten by one. You’ll also learn how NASA scientists are mimicking the maneuverability of snakes to make a robot that can move effortlessly over rocks instead of having to go around them.

In between shows, there are plenty of things to see and do.  Spidernaut, a NASA robot aptly named as it mimics a spider, is on display. Spidernaut represents technology developed at Houston’s own Johnson Space Center to help build structures in microgravity. If you want to see the animals that inspired the Spidernaut and snake-like robot, they are also on display. You can even check out hissing cockroaches or poison dart frogs and try to learn their survival secrets.CHOMP!_05

Look a little farther and see what NASA scientists are learning from mountain goats to be able to develop new boots which will allow astronauts to get around on different planets and moons. You can then test your balance by climbing a spiraling staircase of poles that reach heights of over 25 feet tall! Or, if rock climbing is your idea of fun, go face to face with a friend as you climb up a see-through wall mimicking the climbing traits of mongoose lemurs. There’s even a brand-new activity for the little ones, Swamp Escape, where they can test their survival skills by weaving through spider webs and balancing on platforms as they navigate their way through an obstacle course.

Check out the crocodile show where you can hold a baby crocodile and learn about the similarities between the Space Shuttle and a crocodile or even what crocodiles and alligators teach NASA scientists about living on the International Space Station.

Do all of this and more at Space Center Houston this summer! Save big with a coupon for $5 off your admission price from stores like McDonald’s or Walmart, or when you buy your ticket online at spacecenter.org. Sink your claws into this exciting new experience this summer by checking out “CHOMP! The Science of Survival”.