Exhibit shows future of space missions

By Taylor McDonnell

In T-minus 12 days, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science’s enthralling Journey to Space exhibition will leave the mothership when it closes May 6.

Exploring all the cosmic curiosities and quirks of what it means to be an astronaut, Journey to Space delves into the extraordinary conditions, dangers and rewards of human space travel.

Featuring two walk-through, rotating labs that let visitors experience the sensation of zero gravity inside two massive rotating simulations of the International Space Station (ISS) Destiny module, Journey to Space is a hands-on adventure for all ages. The exhibition is presented in English and Spanish.

“If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the final frontier, then this is your last chance to come face-to-face with space without leaving Earth,” said Dr. Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott chief executive officer of the Perot Museum. “Experience the sensation of zero gravity, and encounter how astronauts wash their hair, eat, exercise, go to the bathroom and sleep in a weightless environment. For those of us who can’t make it to space in the near future, this exhibition is the next best thing!”

From radiation and the vacuum of space to meteoroids and temperature extremes, guests of all ages will learn about the perils that astronauts face during their missions and the adaptations that engineers have developed to help them survive while in space.

With 10,000 square feet of interactives, whole-body experiences and authentic artifacts, visitors can launch a rocket, test gravity in a drop tower, control a robotic arm, and experience the sights and sounds (and even smells!) on board an orbiting space station. Guests can even marvel at Neil Armstrong’s actual gloves from his Apollo 11 mission.

Out-of-this-world adventures continue with “Journey to Space 3D” (through May 6) in The Hoglund Foundation Theater, a National Geographic Experience. Narrated by “Star Trek: The Next Generation” actor Patrick Stewart, the 20-minute film shows how space exploration didn’t die with the end of the Space Shuttle program. Rather, some of the most exciting missions are ahead — from capturing asteroids to landing astronauts on Mars.

Journey to Space 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. The Perot Museum is located at 2201 N. Field Street in Dallas. For parking information and other details, visit perotmuseum.org or call 214-428-5555.

Visitors experience the sights and sounds (and even smells!) on board an orbiting space station. Photo courtesy of the Perot