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Space exhibit ready to take flight at Indianapolis Children's Museum

Space exhibit ready to take flight at Indianapolis Children's Museum
What would it be like to see Earth from space? A new exhibit at Indianapolis Children's Museum tries to put visitors in the moment. (Screengrab of NASA video)

An out-of-this-world experience is about to launch at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. And the mission is being guided by a real astronaut.

Get ready to take off as "Beyond Spaceship Earth" opens at the museum on Saturday, June 25.

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At the heart of the new display is the International Space Station exhibit. It will allow families to walk through replicated parts of the space station as they learn how astronauts live and work far from Planet Earth.

"Beyond Spaceship Earth," a new exhibit at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, opens June 25. (Video courtesy Children's Museum of Indianapolis)

“I’ve been in space quite a bit,” Dr. David Wolf, a retired NASA astronaut, says in the video. “And one of the frustrations is how to explain what it’s like. It’s so different, so amazing, such a magic world, a little like ‘Alice in Wonderland, I like to say.

"We want to bring that experience to the visitors of the Children's Museum and we can do that, even in the presence of gravity."

As the museum's "Extraordinary Scientist-in-Residence," Wolf guided the efforts to reenact the space experience. Through the use of NASA video, guests can view space as it is seen by astronauts by peering through the mock space station's cupola.

The space capsule in which astronaut Gus Grissom was returned to Earth in 1961 will be unwrapped in time to be displayed when the "Beyond Spaceship Earth" exhibit opens Saturday at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
The space capsule in which astronaut Gus Grissom was returned to Earth in 1961 will be unwrapped in time to be displayed when the "Beyond Spaceship Earth" exhibit opens Saturday at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. (Children's Museum of Indianapolis)

Elsewhere, actual spacecraft and other objects will be displayed on a rotating basis.

The first iconic craft, the "Liberty Bell 7," dates to the early days of the American space program.

The capsule carried astronaut Gus Grissom, an Indiana native, back to Earth following a 1961 flight. It sank a short time after splashdown, but it was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean in 1999.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, 3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, is about  4 1/2 miles north of downtown. It's open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

Admission is $22.50 for adults and $18.50 for ages 2-17. Children younger than 2 are admitted free.

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