The Science Museum of Minnesota opens the doors to its most elaborate exhibit Friday with the debut of Space: An Out-of-Gravity Experience.
As the museum puts it, the exhibit seeks to answer the question "What does the future hold for humans and space travel?"
The Pioneer Press reports the $6 million production funded partly by NASA is the most expensive and complicated exhibit the museum has hosted.
When its stay in St. Paul is over, the exhibit will tour the country before some of it lands permanently at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
MPR News says in addition to artifacts such as the gloves Neil Armstrong wore on the moon, there are plenty of interactive and multimedia features exploring the physics of space travel and the challenges of living in space.
Apart from the giant astronaut pictured above, another centerpiece of the exhibit, the Pioneer Press says, gives visitors (18 of them at a time) a chance to simulate floating in space inside a replica of a module from the International Space Station.
In conjunction with the exhibit, the museum is premiering an Omnitheater movie called Journey into Space, which looks back at programs such as the Space Shuttle and ahead to opportunities that await. Find a trailer for the movie here.
A preview of the exhibit came on the day that renown physicist Stephen Hawking said the future of the human race depends on space travel. The comment came while Hawking was showing an American visitor around London's Science Museum, the Cambridge News reports.
A Dutch non-profit group that planning a mission to Mars pared its list of possible passengers down to 100 this week, cutting the four Minnesotans who'd been among the semi-finalists.