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All Things Michigan

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The Air Zoo adds Michigan Space Science Center

Andrew Norton

The Michigan Space Science Center opened at the Air Zoo this past Saturday. Admission to the exhibit is included in the general admission to the Air Zoo ($19.50 for adults). Many items from the now defunct Michigan Space and Science Center that was located in Jackson are housed in this new 17,000 square foot attraction. The Jackson location closed in 2003 and it is nice to see most of the exhibits find a new home. I remember visiting the Michigan Space and Science Center as a kid and eating freeze-dried ice cream like the astronauts. The novelty of the ice cream almost made up for the crummy taste. Almost.

Anyway, the Michigan Space Science Center exhibit includes -

  • Lunar Leap – Hopping craters like an Apollo astronaut, guests will be able to get the feel of lunar gravity—1/6 of the Earth’s.
  • Space Sick – Erratically swirling circles make the viewer feel dizzily space sick. A rocking platform adds to the disorientation. Visitors will understand the feeling that many astronauts feel during their first few days in weightlessness.
  • Gyro – Visitors will experiment with large locked and un-locked gyroscopes to see how they work and why they are important for guiding rockets and spacecraft.
  • Action vs. Reaction – Guests will be able to learn about action/reaction by loading tennis balls into the chamber of an air cannon, which will be mounted to a cart on a track. When the cannon is fired, the action of the ball being shot out of the back causes the cannon to roll forward (reaction). By varying the pressure, visitors will see the relationship between action and reaction.
  • Also in the exhibit are a number of original space artifacts such as a Saturn V rocket engine, full-size replica of a Gemini space capsule, a Gemini crew-training simulator, Russian Cosmonaut suit (from Alexandr Kaleri, the last commander of the MIR space station) and Ann Arbor astronaut Jack Lousma’s space suit.

Visit for more information.