It’s no secret that the Hoosier State has contributed a great deal to the field of space exploration. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is honoring these accomplishments with a new exhibit, Beyond Spaceship Earth. This all new exhibit will capture the excitement of space exploration and pay tribute to those who have helped further this field. Using STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) we can understand and explore what lies beyond our planet, and the new space on the lower level of the museum will dedicate over 3,600 square feet to these efforts.
This announcement comes during a time of remembrance for space enthusiasts. Today marks 49 years since the Apollo 1 fire in which three astronauts lost their lives. Tomorrow marks 30 years since the Challenger space shuttle disaster, where seven lives were lost. Monday marks the 13th anniversary of the loss of shuttle Columbia, which disintegrated over Texas upon returning from its mission, killing seven astronauts. These astronauts gave everything to the field of space exploration and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is honoring their commitments to science and technology by bringing a new exhibit to their already rich culture of educational inquiry.
The exhibit will feature three main components. The Schaefer Planetarium and Space Object Theater will feature real space vehicles and equipment, a multi-sensory experience with light and sound, and a rotating space object, starting with the Liberty Bell 7. NASA space capsule Liberty Bell 7 was piloted by astronaut and Indiana’s own Gus Grissom in 1961. It was America’s second manned space flight.
Of course Indiana is home multiple astronauts and engineers who have made space exploration possible, and Purdue University has played a key role in their education. The Astronaut Wall of Fame will pay tribute to the contributions that those with Indiana connections have made to the history of space exploration.
For families who can’t get enough of the excitement of space and outer-worldly exploration, don’t miss seeing five of our solar system’s planets align under one sky. Head out just before sunrise and see the same planets our ancient ancestors recognized as being different from the stars they were familiar with seeing long before modern technology existed. The five classical planets, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter can be seen in that order in the pre-dawn sky. Brave the cold and bundle up, because this is worth checking out!
We’re excited to play and learn in this special new space in the museum, and we hope you are too!