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Milestones to Mars Brings New Space Journey to the Rocket City

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Milestones to Mars Brings New Space Journey to the Rocket City

  • Dare to Explore: Milestones to Mars at the USSRC
  • Open now through mid May 2021
  • Free for members, General admission $17-25
Dare to Explore: Milestones to Mars at the Space and Rocket Center includes a section for children to view different space suits.

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center is one of my family’s favorite local attractions. We go several times a year for special events, programs, exhibits and just to explore. This weekend we visited to check out the new exhibit, Dare to Explore: Milestones to Mars, presented by Lockheed Martin.

Although this exhibit has less interactive features than previous ones due to Covid, it does contain a lot of cool information that older kids would enjoy, probably third graders and up. For example, there’s a whole area about growing food in space and on Mars. It describes how scientists could farm edible bugs, like crickets, to be used as protein in foods such as sandwiches and desserts. The display also shows how some plants can be grown using small amounts of water and soil. Finally, within this section, is an example of how astronauts filter urine to turn into useable water. My kids were a little grossed out by all this, but also found it oddly cool. Now they’re a little curious about what crickets would taste like.

The new exhibit, Dare to Explore: Milestones to Mars, includes a section for visitors to draw their own space habitats.
The new exhibit, Dare to Explore: Milestones to Mars, includes a section for visitors to draw their own space habitats.

Away from the agriculture portion, there’s a section about the evolution of space suits and some of the important updates that’ve taken place over the past several decades, and kids can vote on their favorite futuristic space suit. There’s also a section that describes potential habitats astronauts could live on while on the moon or Mars. Next to this are tables where kids can design and color their own space habitats.


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Another display we found interesting was the one about Skylab and the experiments they conducted, and some of the challenges they performed daily. Within this area, my daughter couldn’t believe the clunkiness of the laptop the scientists used while recording their work – too bad she hasn’t seen a Commodore computer.

This is a well done exhibit with a ton of outstanding information about the history of space exploration and potential for the future. We couldn’t find any information about upcoming events associated with the exhibit, nor how long it will be in on display, but recommend checking it out next time you’re looking for an educational, family-friendly outing.

Parent Pro-Tips

  • Visitors must enter through the Davidson Center and then walk over to the main building; enter the exhibit from the south side of the building, by the Saturn 1.
  • The bathrooms are located downstairs.
  • The Mars Grill is open 11AM-3PM if you want to plan to eat lunch there.

Enjoy an exclusive look at space exploration in the new exhibit Dare to Explore: Milestones to Mars.

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Enjoy a unique look at space exploration in the new exhibit Dare to Explore: Milestones to Mars.

Milestones to Mars: Plan Your Visit

Address: 1 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL 35805 (Map)
Phone: 800-637-7223
Cost: Adult & Senior (Ages 13+): $25 | Child (Ages 5-12): $17
Members: FREE | Children 4 & under: FREE
Dates & Hours: Open now through mid-May 2021
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
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