How will you travel, live, and work in space? What challenges await?
Begin your epic journey this summer in our new exhibit, Journey to Space presented by Coca-Cola.
Immerse yourself in your very own Journey to Space, a seven-part experience that will take you on a quest to explore different aspects of life in space, investigate the risks and challenges associated with deep space travel, and discover a future where Earth is no longer the only planet humans call home.
Section 1: Space is dangerous
Space is not a friendly place. If the extreme temperatures don’t get you, the radiation will. Your spacecraft can protect you from the vacuum but watch out for the meteoroids!
Begin your Journey to Space by exploring the dangers of the final frontier.
In the first part of your experience, you'll learn about how astronauts protect themselves while living and working in space.
Experiment with a vacuum chamber to see how common objects behave in zero pressure, examine an x-ray of a full spacesuit to observe its many protective features, see a hole blown through a thick metal plate by a simulated meteoroid and watch a slow-motion video of the impact.
Objects on display in this area include a pair of Neil Armstrong's gloves worn during his historic Apollo 11 mission, an Apollo helmet and a Canyon Diablo meteorite.
Section 2: Traveling to and in space
Getting to space isn’t easy. Once we’re there, the huge distances between destinations make travel a challenge.
In this mini-section, you'll explore some space travel technologies!
Through interactive activities, discover the cost of traveling to space and potential future space travel methods. Launch a water rocket, turn on an ion engine and more.
Section 3: Weightlessness
Astronauts look like they’re floating, but they’re falling.
Investigate orbital mechanics by launching a puck into orbit around a planet in the center of a circular air hockey table. Use a 16-foot drop tower equipped with a slow-motion instant replay video to uncover the effects momentary weightlessness has on objects!
Curious as to why astronauts float? Learn more about orbital flight with an interactive question and answer area, complete with animations to help illustrate the concepts!
Section 4: Living in Space
Planet Earth makes life easy. Air and water? Taken care of. But in space nothing is “normal.”
In this next part of the experience, learn how life in space differs from life on Earth.
Have you ever wondered how astronauts go to the bathroom in space? Wonder no more! Listen as astronauts talk about answering the call of nature in space as you sit on a full-size mock-up of the toilet.
Kids also get the opportunity to experience what it would be like to live in space as they explore a dollhouse-size space station!
Section 5: Working in space
Floating weightlessly around a space station sure looks like fun, but astronauts aren’t there just to enjoy themselves. They are there to work.
No one ever said working in space would be easy. In fact, it can be quite difficult! Especially, when you're in a spacesuit.
Experience the difficulties of working in space firsthand when you don a spacesuit glove inside a partial vacuum. Then, take your turn at controlling a robotic arm the way astronauts do, using hand controllers and video monitors, to complete mission tasks like docking a supply vessel.
In space, losing power can have devastating consequences. Test out your skills as you manage the energy system of an orbiting space station to keep life support equipment up and running.
Section 6: Rotating destiny lab
Get a taste of the disorientation experienced by first-time astronauts when you enter a full-sized mock-up of the International Space Station’s U.S. Destiny Lab module.
Get the sensation of "floating" in space as you stand on the platform with the module slowly rotating around you!
As features of Destiny come into view, lighting effects and narration will highlight the vital equipment of the module, from life support systems to the Canadarm2 robotic controls, telling the story of a research station orbiting 250 miles above the Earth.
Section 7: Our future in space
We’re on a journey to space. It didn’t stop at the Moon, and it won’t stop at the International Space Station. We’re looking farther out, overcoming challenges, and asking ourselves, “Where to next?”
In this section you will be able to discover many different visions of what our future in space might be.
Explore the possibility of life on Mars by constructing your own colony with magnets! Imagine yourself as an explorer of the red planet by snapping a photo behind a space helmet. Learn about how an astronaut's weight will change depending on their location by picking up jars of peanut butter, with planet-specific weights.
Explore the conditions that make space travel so dangerous, try out some of the engineering technology that makes life and research possible in space, and get answers to the questions you've long wondered about: How do astronauts sleep in a weightless environment? How do they eat? And how do they go to the bathroom?
What are you waiting for? Begin your Journey to Space today!
Journey to Space is presented by Coca-Cola and was designed and developed by the Science Museum of Minnesota in partnership with the International Space Station Office of NASA's Johnson Space Center, the California Science Center, and partner museums.