Now Brazilians will no longer need to travel to the US to see up close artifacts from the Apollo program, which took humans to the surface of the Moon between 1969 and 1972. Last Wednesday (10), it was inaugurated in Canela (RS), in Serra Gaúcha, the Space Adventure exhibition (spaceadventure.com.br).
Originally thought of as an itinerant exhibition, it was brought to São Paulo for a short season between September and October 2021, but the results encouraged the organizers to develop a space to house a large part of the collection in Brazil on a permanent basis.
The inauguration was attended by state and federal authorities, among them the Minister of Tourism, Daniela Carneiro (União Brasil/RJ), and the visit of Charles Duke, 87, pilot of the Apollo 16 mission, penultimate to visit the lunar surface, in 1972. He is one of only three living astronauts out of twelve who have ever had the chance to walk on lunar soil.
The set of pieces, provided by the Hutchinson Cosmosphere Museum and Space Education Center in Kansas (USA), covers all of NASA’s manned programs, with special emphasis on the first three – Mercury, Gemini and Apollo.
One of the suits worn by John Young, commander of Apollo 16, during the trip to the Moon is just one of the original artifacts that can be seen up close. A camera used on Apollo 17, the last manned lunar mission of the last century, is also there.
And the replicas incorporated into the collection are not to be missed. The most impressive are an Apollo capsule and a full-size Lunar Module – the vehicle with which astronauts descended to the Moon. There is also a simulation environment of the lunar soil and a replica (smaller than its real version) of the LRV (Lunar Roving Vehicle) used by the crew for long crossings on the surface of the natural satellite.
Part of the exhibition also touches on pieces from unmanned programs, such as a replica of the Mars rover Opportunity, and there is a focus on elements of NASA’s current efforts, in particular the Artemis program, which is expected to bring humans close to the Moon for the first time in the 21st century. from 2024. The four crew members scheduled for the trip were recently announced by NASA: Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover and Christina Koch, from the USA, and Jeremy Hansen, from Canada. It will be the first time that a woman, a black man and a non-American will go beyond low earth orbit.
The 4,000 square meter structure built in Canela by the DC Set group in partnership with Blast Entertainment and the Oceanic Group also has a planetarium that shows films produced by the Museum of Natural History in New York.
With capacity for 4,000 visitors per day, it is a mandatory stop for space exploration enthusiasts who have the chance to visit Serra Gaúcha, especially those who did not have the chance to see it in São Paulo in 2021. The space opens on Mondays to Friday, between 9am and 5pm, and the organizers expect to receive 300,000 visitors a year.
This column is published on Mondays in the printed version, in Folha Corrida.
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