Wednesday, 16 April 2014, 12:11 am

An out of this world exhibit at the Niagara Falls History Museum

A lunar sample from the Apollo 15 mission is on display in the space exhibit at the Niagara Falls Museum. PHOTO BY MEAGHAN MITCHELLBy MEAGHAN MITCHELL
Staff Writer
In his 1980 book, Cosmos, Carl Sagan wrote, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”
The Niagara Falls History Museum will be igniting imaginations with its newest exhibit, Space.
Clark Bernat, museum manager, thanked staff, museum members and the media for attending the launch last week at the Ferry Street location.
A portable planetarium, which looks like a giant space tent, is on loan from the Royal Ontario Museum and showing daily at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and Thursday nights at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
A blue wall holds five photos of the Apollo 15 mission, one of the space shuttle blasting off on July 26, 1971, another of the astronauts David Scott, Alfred Worden and James Irwin, and three photos taken on the moon.
On a shelf in exhibit are three toy spacesuit helmets and several books on space and the moon.
The most unique part of this exhibit is the lunar sample on display. The rock comes from the largest sample harvested in the Apollo 15 mission.
Apollo 15 marked a significant part of “human history,” Bernat said.
On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong, during the Apollo 11 mission, became the first man to step on the moon. Two years later, on July 31, 1971, astronauts David Scott and James Irwin, on the Apollo 15 mission, were the first men to drive a vehicle, the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), on the moon.
The LRV made it possible for astronauts to travel farther distances on the moon and collect larger and more diverse samples.
Scott and Irwin drove about 28 kilometres and returned to Earth with 77 kilograms of lunar rock samples.
An engraving, dating back to 1852, of a moon bow, a rainbow that occurs at night from moonlight, over Niagara Falls is also on display. Moon bows are no longer visible above the Falls because of city lights and artificial illumination. The piece is on loan from the Castelanni Art Museum of Niagara University in New York.
Curator Suzanne Moase said she is thrilled to have an actual lunar sample on loan from NASA.
“It is the tangible nature of objects that help museums to connect with their audiences. Objects provide a jumping off point for discussion, learning and sharing,” she said.
Joan Onofrio, of Niagara Falls, is a new member to the museum and said she enjoyed the display. She was coming out of the planetarium.
“It will be fantastic for the kids. … The little ones will really get a thrill out of it.”
The space exhibit will be available until mid-April.
Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for six to nine year olds and students with student identification and free for anyone under six years old.
The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Thursday. It is closed on Monday. For more information visit www.niagarafallsmuseums.ca.

 

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