“Is there Life Beyond Earth –OR Are We Alone?”
CHICAGO, Tuesday, August 14, 2012. Martians, little green men, the man in the moon, UFOs, aliens, crop circles are all part of the science and lore surrounding the human quest to determine if there is extraterrestrial life. Way before space exploration became a reality, Earthlings have wondered if they were alone in the Universe or if other forms of life existed.
Although, as yet, there are no definitive answers, progress is being made. With the successful landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars this month, we are one step closer to finding some answers.
The new exhibition, Life in Space, at the Museum of Science and Industry incorporates a full-scale model of the Curiosity Mars Rover along with a Lunar Greenhouse to explore where secret forms of life may lie hidden. Life in Space poses some elusive questions as the centerpiece of the exhibition: Did Mars ever harbor life? Could humans live on the moon? Could space colonization soon become a reality?
The exhibition, itself, consists of two galleries that showcase some of the technologies that hopefully will lead to answers:
Gallery One: The Red Planet Rover, a 7-foot-tall model, called Dusty, is a life-sized, six-wheeled replica of Curiosity. The model of the rover allows guests to see and learn more about Curiosity’s cutting-edge tools, including a drill, camera and rock-zapping laser, as well as what scientists look for when choosing landing sites on Mars. This exhibit will run through September 30, 2012.
Gallery Two: The Lunar Greenhouse is a prototype of a self-contained, automated environment which has the potential to provide water, oxygen and one-half of the daily amount of food for a single person to survive on the Moon. The faculty and students at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC), with support from NASA, built, and are currently testing, this 18-by-7 foot device. The cylindrical greenhouse is full of plant life grown using hydroponics, (in nutrient-rich water, without soil), giving guests the opportunity to visualize first-hand how humans might be able to grow food on the Moon one day. This exhibit runs through January 27, 2013.
Life in Space is free with general admission to the MSI. You may also want to check out the popular MythBusters Exhibition (extra cost) which will be at the MSI through September 3, 2012. Museum of Science and Industry, 57th Street and Lake Shore Drive.
Free Admission Days.
If you wait to September 2012, the Museum is offering free admission on the following days: September 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28.