GREAT LAKES SCIENCE CENTER TO OPEN BRAND-NEW NASA GALLERIES APRIL 6, CELEBRATING WITH FREE ADMISSION FOR YOUTH
March 21st, 2013
CLEVELAND (March 21, 2013) – Great Lakes Science Center is opening its newly renovated NASA Glenn Visitor Center on Saturday, April 6, and celebrating with free admission for youth up to 12 years of age. This redesigned Visitor Center will feature 9,000+ square feet of new galleries, 50 new interactive exhibits, fascinating artifacts and breathtaking media.
Great Lakes Science Center became the designated home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center in January 2010 and subsequently transferred approximately 20 artifacts from NASA Glenn Research Center to the Science Center in March 2010. The two organizations made this decision in order to increase visibility of and attendance to the Visitor Center. The Science Center’s long-term strategic plan included raising and investing money into the Visitor Center to become an interactive, hands-on learning space where all visitors can learn about aeronautics and space exploration and Glenn Research Center’s role within NASA, and where students can be inspired to join the space exploration effort.
The Science Center’s Great Science, Greater Future capital campaign has raised $5 million to build the new NASA galleries. The donations have been given by Science Center board members, corporations and foundations. The Great Science, Greater Future campaign, still in a quiet phase, will deepen the Science Center’s investment in tomorrow’s STEM leadership and workforce.
“We have realized our vision: to introduce a brand-new NASA Visitor Center to the community,” says Paul Dolan, board chair. “Several years ago, we became the home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center and immediately met our objective to increase the attendance of the Visitor Center and the awareness of NASA Glenn within the community. At that time, we committed to making the investment to not only program the Visitor Center but also to develop interactive exhibits around these amazing artifacts to tell the immersive story of going to space: getting there, living there and returning home safely.”
The three new space galleries focus on the risks and triumphs of human space travel, including the challenges of living and working in space. Visitors can climb a Martian landscape, steer a robotic rover, study artifacts used during Mars mission testing, gain insight into how astronauts live and work on the International Space Station and see the impressive new presentation of the Apollo Command Module used during the 1973 Skylab 3 Mission – one of only 15 Apollo capsules that took astronauts into space.
The final gallery, Discover, is scheduled to open in summer 2013 and will feature four labs that will engage visitors in NASA Glenn Research Center’s areas of expertise. Visitors will recreate experiments that demonstrate why is it so important to create extreme environments on Earth to test equipment before sending it into air and space within the Propulsion Lab, Power Lab, Aeronautics Lab and Materials Lab. In addition, the gallery will include a large performance stage, where Science Center staff will perform Big Science Shows, present demonstrations and host briefings from NASA experts.
“These major gallery renovations allow us to better reflect the innovative aerospace industry in our region and broaden the dynamic appeal of space science for the general public,” said Kirsten Ellenbogen, president, Great Lakes Science Center. "The new NASA Glenn Visitor Center will engage you in some of the greatest space exploration efforts of our time through exhibits that put you in control of aerospace technology and make you wonder at the new frontiers we have yet to explore.”
ABOUT THE GALLERIES
Dare to Explore Gallery
Located at the entrance of the Great Lakes Science Center galleries, this is a space where families can play together and begin their learning experience. The centerpiece, a digital floor projection that rotates between space exploration, biomedical technology, Lake Erie and STEM achievements in Northeast Ohio, gives a playful overview of many of the Science Center’s core content areas, while inviting the visitor to collect stars, stomp out bacteria in the bloodstream, send ripples across Lake Erie and light up networks in Northeast Ohio as they move across the floor. In the space exploration mode, for example, visitors will see a NASA tour of the planets, learn space exploration facts, and collect stars behind them as they glide, hop or twirl across the galaxy.
An area that is sure to impress – the new home of the Apollo Command Module used during the 1973 Skylab 3 Mission – features a starry background and imaginative lighting. This capsule is one of only 15 Apollo capsules that took astronauts to the moon or Earth orbit. In this gallery, visitors will also explore the past, present and future of human space exploration by delving into the challenges that humans have solved to travel to space, explore space and return to Earth safely.
“Living the Challenge” is a multi-media experience that will excite and inspire visitors as they stand in the midst of the starry gallery. Splashed across three large screens, this dramatic presentation will immerse visitors in the famous moments from the history of human space exploration, from Mercury program testing to the latest SpaceX launch. Amid a breathtaking mix of sight and sound, visitors will marvel at the courage, ingenuity and perseverance required to send humans into space.
Gallery highlights include:
• Actual space-flown space suits from Skylab and Apollo, including one issued to Buzz Aldrin
• Newly restored Skylab model to accurately depict how it looked after the Skylab 3 repairs
• Lunar lander and shuttle lander computer interactive
• A real moon rock from Apollo 15
• New interactive media that showcase NASA Glenn achievements and NASA’s robotic explorations of the solar system
• Artifacts from John Glenn’s Mercury mission and a newly produced video
Living in Space Gallery
After the astronauts get to space, how do they eat, sleep and go to the bathroom? This gallery answers those questions and provides insight into current day-to-day living on the International Space Station (ISS). Meet astronaut Suni Williams, a native of Northeast Ohio and former Commander of the ISS, as she introduces visitors to a day in the life of the ISS. Artifacts and interactives within this gallery explore the ways in which we are preparing for longer space journeys and for a future when humans may live in space as we explore the solar system.
Dramatically hoisted high above the gallery is a new artifact, the 17-foot airbag landing system tested at NASA Glenn’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, during the development of the Mars Pathfinder, Spirit and Opportunity missions. To solve rocket fuel contamination problems posed by earlier Mars missions, NASA Glenn engineers tested an airbag system that surrounded the spacecraft and cushioned it as it bounced along the planet’s surface. These tests were performed within the world's largest vacuum chamber pressurized with a simulated Martian atmosphere. This installation is the only one of its kind and Great Lakes Science Center is the only place where you can see this landing system fully inflated, depicting the final eight seconds of the dramatic airbag rover landings on Mars.
Other gallery highlights include:
• Climb a Martian landscape and learn more about the Red Planet
• Steer a robotic rover across a Martian landscape and hunt for scientific data by relying on cameras and robotics, similar to how scientists manipulate NASA’s Curiosity rover
• Examine packets of food that scientists developed for the ISS
• Take a video tour of the bathroom aboard the ISS and answer the #1 question from our visitors: how do you go to the bathroom in space?
• Read about Ohio’s astronauts – 25 and counting!
• Climb into a full-scale Mercury capsule and take the controls
• Take your photo in space suit
Great Lakes Science Center worked with Barrie Projects and Gallagher & Associates to complete the NASA Galleries. Barrie Projects is a Cleveland-based museum and cultural planning firm. Gallagher & Associates is an internationally recognized museum design firm with offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Singapore.
Admission to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center is included with general admission to Great Lakes Science Center. Great Lakes Science Center has developed a schedule of events celebrating the NASA Galleries throughout the spring and summer months. These events have been designed for families, youth, and in one case, adults only.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: New NASA Glenn Visitor Center Galleries
Thursday, April 4
5:30 pm – 7:30 p.m.
Tour the brand-new NASA galleries, meet the Science Center’s new president, Dr. Kirsten Ellenbogen, and hear her remarks. This is Kirsten’s first introduction to Northeast Ohio and her first event at Great Lakes Science Center. Board Chair Paul Dolan and NASA Glenn Center Deputy Director Greg Robinson will speak as well. (This ceremony is by invitation only and is not open to the public. Media is welcome at 5:30 pm to capture remarks and be the first to see the new galleries. Interview opportunities will be available.)
Space Saturday Celebration – Free Youth General Admission
Saturday, April 6
10 am – 5 pm
Celebrate the opening of the new NASA Glenn Visitor Center galleries with special guests, hands-on activities and fun giveaways. Free general admission for youth up to 12 years of age.
Activities will include:
• See, touch and interact with space hardware that played a part in testing and developing NASA programs
• Meet NASA engineers who worked on some of the newly featured projects in the galleries, including science experiments on the ISS
• Pose with Eva, NASA’s larger-than-life astronaut, who will be “spacewalking” at the Science Center and loves to take pictures
• Take a free souvenir digital picture in our space-themed photo booth
• At 2 pm, watch the OMNIMAX film, Hubble. Join astronauts as they launch and service the most iconic scientific instrument of our time: the Hubble Space Telescope. Regular OMNIMAX fees apply.
The first 300 guests who arrive for this special Space Saturday celebration will receive a free bag of astronaut ice cream. All guests (18 and older) may enter to win a week of a space-themed Great Science Summer Camp, a Great Lakes Science Center family membership or an astronaut jumpsuit from the Science Store. No reservations required. Media is welcome.
Yuri’s Night Space Party
Saturday, April 13
8 pm – 1 am
Explore the new NASA Glenn Visitor Center after dark and be part of this exciting global celebration of the past, present and future of human space flight at Cleveland’s official Yuri’s Night Space Party! Yuri's Night parties are held around the world every April in commemoration of April 12, 1961, the day of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's first manned space flight, and April 12, 1981, the day of the first U.S. space shuttle launch.
Dance all night long to live music by The Floorwalkers and DJ OZMTZ; enjoy Sam Adams beer, Barefoot wine, Angry Orchard cider and light hors d’oeuvres (included in ticket price), plus cash bar for cocktails and special treats; and wear your best space-themed attire for the costume contest. Ages 21 and over. Tickets at GreatScience.com and 216-621-2400. Media is welcome.
Brand-New OMNIMAX® Film – Hidden Universe
Opens summer 2013
Take a breathtaking tour of deep space and see real images captured by Hubble and the world’s most powerful telescopes! Journey back further into space to learn secrets that until recently were completely hidden, providing a whole new insight about how the universe formed. Discover amazing clues that reveal the stars in the night sky are not only tiny specks of light but actual opportunities for life to exist on other planets!
Upcoming Space-Themed Camps and Classes
Visit www.GreatScience.com for event details and registration information.
• Space Exploration Badge Workshop for Boy Scouts
Sunday, April 14, 2-3:30 pm
• Journey into Space Sleepover for Girl Scouts
Friday, April 19, 6 pm
• Journey into Space Sleepover for Boy Scouts
Friday, April 26, 6 pm
• Family Sleepover: Journey into Space
Friday, May 3, 6 pm
• Family Science Workshop: Journey into Space
Saturday, May 11, 2-3:30 pm
• Space-Themed Great Summer Science Day Camps
Week-long, day camps for kids in preschool through high school, with themes including Space Explorer and Rockin’ Rockets
• Space Adventure Week
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About Great Lakes Science Center
Great Lakes Science Center is one of the nation’s leading science and technology centers and home to Northeast Ohio’s NASA Glenn Visitor Center. Its mission is to engage visitors through fun, interactive experiences to stimulate curiosity about and encourage understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It features hundreds of hands-on exhibits, themed traveling exhibits, daily demonstrations, the awe-inspiring OMNIMAX® Theater and the Steamship William G. Mather. The Science Center is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Discounted parking is available for guests in the attached 500-car garage. Great Lakes Science Center is generously funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. For more information, contact the Science Center at (216) 694-2000 or visit www.GreatScience.com.
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