EARTH TO MARS: WE’RE COMING…EVENTUALLY
Journey to the deepest reaches of our solar system
With Great Lakes Science Center’s newest exhibition, Facing Mars
January 7th, 2011
CLEVELAND (Jan. 7, 2011) – Would YOU go to Mars? This is the first question visitors will be asked when entering Great Lakes Science Center’s brand new exhibition, Facing Mars. Opening January 29, the exhibition will give visitors a taste of interplanetary travel as it explores the real physical, psychological and scientific challenges of traveling to the Red Planet – that tiny red dot in the sky that has mystified and fascinated us for generations.
“Mars has been the object of intense study and allure among the public and sci-fi enthusiasts for a long time,” said Linda Abraham-Silver, president and CEO of the Science Center. “Given our designation as the official NASA Glenn Visitor Center, one of 10 Visitor Centers in the country, the exhibition fits perfectly with our core content and areas of staff expertise.”
A major theme within the exhibition is that it asks questions for which there are no known answers, challenging visitors to develop new ways of thinking. In one visit, a guest will take on the role of an astronaut and become a space surgeon, a planetary geologist and a spacecraft technician, focusing on the real-life obstacles of sending humans to Mars.
“A three-year trip over millions of miles is no easy feat,” said Dante Centuori, director of creative productions at the Science Center. “It’s not something we’ve ever done before, and given that roughly two out of three unmanned missions to Mars have been failures, it’s also not something to take lightly with astronauts’ lives at stake.”
The exhibition is comprised of 28 thought-provoking exhibits that will bring out the inner astronaut in all of us. Highlights include:
• Walking on Mars – What is it like to be a planetary geologist on Mars? Visitors will experience the feeling of reduced gravity as they strap themselves to a harness and try to move about at one-third of their body’s normal weight.
• Mars Meteorite – Examine a real Mars meteorite! Found in the Sahara, this meteorite was discovered in 2007 and weighs 16.656 grams (just over half an ounce!).
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• Spinning Chair – Have you got the stomach for space? Two-thirds of space travelers experience some motion sickness – some of it is so severe that astronauts have trouble working, exercising, or even eating. Visitors will explore the effects of motion sickness and see if they can complete a task while under its influence.
Promotions and Programming
The Science Center has also wrapped a plethora of original programming around the exhibition:
Facing Mars Overnight Camp-Ins
January - May
Running on select weekends through May, participants can spend the night at the Science Center exploring the exhibition Facing Mars and the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, watching the OMNIMAX movie Hubble and participating in space-themed activities throughout the night. Overnights run from 7 p.m. – 9:30 a.m. the next morning. Price includes late-night snacks, breakfast the next morning, parking in the attached garage and general admission the entire next day. Reservations can be made by calling (216) 621-2400.
Mars Rover, Up Close & Personal
January 29 – September 5
The Science Center has teamed up with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to bring you a full-scale model of a Mars Exploration Rover that will be in the lobby for the run of the exhibition. See this amazing super performer that has outlived all of NASA’s initial predictions.
FREE Lecture by Dr. Maria Zuber, E.A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics and head of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Tuesday, February 22, 7:30 p.m.
World-renowned planetary scientist Marie Zuber shares exciting discoveries from recent space craft observations of Mars. Dr. Zuber was the co-lead for the laser altimeter experiment on the Mars Global Surveyor that produced the most accurate topography model for any planet, including Earth. Call (216) 621-2400 to reserve. Includes free admission to Facing Mars.
Space Adventure Week
July 25 – 31
It’s all space, all the time (and mostly Mars)! Blast off with the Science Center for a week of space-themed events, programs, workshops and special NASA guests. Discover the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, explore the exhibition Facing Mars and enjoy exciting demonstrations that will surprise and delight the most scientific of minds. Look for updates at GreatScience.com.
Big Science Show – Survivor: Mars!
Do you have what it takes to make it on the Red Planet? Find out at our featured Big Science Show, a large-scale spectacle of science put on by our wild and wacky staff educators. Brought to you by Time Warner Cable. Check daily schedule for show times.
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Tomorrow’s Traveler Sweepstakes
January 29 – September 5
Visit Great Lakes Science Center and enter to win four domestic round-trip tickets to the destination of your choice, courtesy of Continental Airlines. Valid for flights operated by Continental Airlines only. Restrictions apply.
For more details on promotions and programming, see the backgrounder or visit GreatScience.com.
Admission to the exhibition is free to Great Lakes Science Center members. Exhibition entry is
$14.95 for adult non-members and $12.95 for children, and includes the option of admission to the hundreds of hands-on exhibits at the Science Center and NASA Glenn Visitor Center, or an OMNIMAX film. Admission is free on Tuesdays for all youth 18 and under when accompanied by an adult.
Facing Mars is produced by the Ontario Science Centre. Local support is provided by Ohio Lottery, Continental Airlines and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Promotional support is provided by The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Magazine and WKYC.
About the 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 and Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s MC2STEM High School’s freshman class. Its mission is to stimulate interest in and increase understanding of the sciences, with a particular emphasis on the interdependence of scientific, environmental and technological activities in the Great Lakes region. 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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