Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Visit Beyond Planet Earth at the Ontario Science Centre!

My family and I were invited to a sneak peak of the Ontario Science Centre's "Beyond Planet Earth" exhibit.  We were in for a very enjoyable and educational experience, especially as Dr. Michael Shara was giving us a personal guided tour! (Dr. Shara is the Curator, Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History).
Dr. Michael Shara (Curator) Giving a Fantastic Tour
of the Beyond Planet Earth Exhibit
The exhibition probes the next 50 to 100 years or space exploration, and speculates on what it might bring.  Some of the topics presented at Beyond Planet Earth include a retrospective of space missions, a prospective Moon colony, a space elevator, meteorites, Mars exploration and even Space Tourism!  (Yes, we will be able to pay for a trip to the Moon in the very near future!) 

One of the logical first steps for space exploration in the future would be to set up a lunar base at Shackleton Crater, near the Moon's South Pole.  Due to its proximity to water-ice and almost constant sunlight, it would be the logical choice to generate electricity.

Scale Model of a Habitat to House 4 Astronauts on the Moon
(1:3 size)
Interconnected Space Habitats on the Moon
(Do you see the Earth in the sky?)
I was completely blown away by the replica of a space elevator displayed at the OSC!  It has been decades since I have been reading about this idea in Science Fiction literature.  This lunar elevator theoretically could be used to transport mined materials to the Earth from the Moon (and vice versa).  Could this elevator one day transport humans from Earth to Moon?  Only time will tell!
This Space Elevator Might One Day Transport Mined Materials
Between the Earth & Moon!



A 9-foot long full-scale model of the Lunar Rover "Curiosity" is on display at the Beyond Planet Earth Exhibit.  This is the same model rover that landed on Mars August 6th, 2012, and is searching for proof of life on Mars.  It was hard for me to envision that AT THIS VERY MOMENT the identical rover is exploring the Martian climate and geology!  Scientists have been talking about terraforming Mars for eons, and making it into a liveable atmosphere for humans. 
Mars Science Laboratory Rover "Curiosity"
Displayed at Ontario Science Centre

When Dr. Shara discussed the topic of Space Tourism, it really got our attention!  He mentioned that in about 5 years, you could pay $200,000 for a private trip to the moon--and in 10 years, it would likely drop to $50,000!  What would it be like to be a Space Tourist and go to the Moon sightseeing?  What would it be like for non-astronauts to be able to make that trip?  Would you go if you were given the chance? 

Interested in Being a Space Tourist?
This Spacecraft Will Take You to the Moon for $200K!
If you or your family are interested in space, exploration or even Science Fiction, then you will be fascinated by the Ontario Science Centre's Beyond Planet Earth exhibit!  It's well worth seeing, and runs from October 3rd, 2012 until January 1st, 2013!

7 comments:

  1. Oh how interesting! This sounds right up my alley :) I find anything to do with this so fascinating. It's amazing what mankind has accomplished already and COULD potentially accomplish in the future. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Oh man I love this kind of stuff. I swear when I retire I want to go back to school for something "space" related. It's so fascinating! I'll have to make it a point to go see this exhibition!

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  3. I was so sad to miss this, it looks fantastic! We will take the boys soon!

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  4. I grew up a stones throw from the Science Centre and we used to go several times a year (family, school, clubs). Still love it as an adult. Haven't been in many years, need to go! My whole family would have loved this exhibit.

    Besos, Sarah
    Zookeeper at Journeys of The Zoo

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  5. It sounds like an exhibit my whole family would love!

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  6. My Son would LOVE to visit that place - looks like so much fun! Thanks and Happy Canada day!

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  7. I think Egypt and India are on my list before I hit the moon, but it's cool to think it may be an option in my lifetime! And that elevator is super cool. My husband doesn't even like the elevator that goes up the CN Tower! (www.cookingdangerously.com #tgcbb)

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