Mission to Mars: Multi-million dollar exhibit opening at Space Center Houston

- How would you like to take an amazing trip…to Mars?  You can go as soon as tomorrow, January 21, 2017. You can boldly go where no man has, or at least where no guests have gone yet.  It’s called Mission Mars, opening at Space Center Houston this weekend.

”It’s a brand new exhibit that will take guests to a Mars landscape.  As you can see behind me we have rock formations,” Space Center Houston Senior Exhibits Developer Carmina Mortillaro shows us. 

The rocks are quite realistic, handmade and painted by artist Tessa Meier.  She had to put her peepers on a lot of pictures to make this possible.  “And study those images and make it come to life,” smiles Meier.

The resoundingly real mock-up of Mars also features pieces of the real thing, actual meteorites from Mars. “Three that you can see.  They’re very rare, so they’re going to be in a display case, and one that you can touch,” adds Mortillaro.

Did you know a shooting star is actually a meteorite making its way to Earth?  ”Each planet has its own chemical make-up, its own chemical signature, if you will, and this rock has the chemical signature that matches Mars,” Mortillaro explains.

At the exhibit you’ll also see ”A projection of the Martian sky where you can see a sunset, a sunrise.  There’s 11 interactives,” says Mortillaro.

”This is our rocket launch interactive,” Space Center Houston Meridyth Moore shows us then asks me ”Think you’re ready to go?” 

We crank an interactive exhibit attempt to each launch our rockets the farthest.  “I still need a little bit more. You can press the green button and launch your rocket,” Moore shouts.

“Whooooo,” I can’t help but squeal as my rocket shoots into the sky.

We got a sneak peek as the manufacturing of Mars was still under construction.  The replica of the Red Planet is a multi-million dollar display.

“There’s something here for everybody,” smiles Mortillaro.  Families heading to Mars for an out of this world experience, might also launch a new career path for kids.

”In addition to astronauts there’s trainers, engineers who develop the capsules.  You can have fun and learn a lot about science, technology, engineering and math,” says Mortillaro

This new permanent exhibit is expected to draw quite a crowd during Super Bowl.  After all, the game on the gridiron and Mission to Mars are both out of this world experiences and NASA and the NFL have a lot in common.

”It is definitely a team sport because everybody has to come together for the big playoff at the end which is usually a mission to another planet,” smiles Mortillaro.

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