The “Adventures in Space” exhibition starts in Chelsea

The new Space Adventure exhibition brings space exploration down to earth in Chelsea. Celebrating the arrival of man on the moon and featuring more than 300 original NASA items, including rare photographs, computers, artifacts and more, the exhibit aims to inspire a new generation to explore space.

The experience begins with a video presentation chronicling the history of mankind’s voyages to the moon, then takes you through several interactive rooms where you can see the astronauts’ real food, their suits, and mock-ups of lunar modules.

Astronauts cannot live on Tang alone. This case contains some of the dehydrated foods that made up the menus for space exploration.

Haley Lerner / GBH News

During a visit to Space Adventure, you can travel to the Houston Control Room, a moon-departure room where you’ll experience a simulated launch, and finish your time in the Lunar Landing Room, where you can feel what it was like for astronauts to go on the lunar surface.

Nadene Berman Freeman, the exhibit’s co-manager, said the exhibit provides educational opportunities for people of all ages to learn more about space travel, whether you’re a history buff or a curious kid.

“This is a museum, it’s recreational, it’s interactive, it’s immersive and there’s virtual reality,” she said. “People are in awe of it. They said that when they leave they feel like they’ve been to the moon and back.”

Freeman said people typically spend an hour or more at the exhibit.

“You’re being stimulated with every sensory emotion imaginable,” she said. “You will see so much. You will hear so much. … you will feel it. You will see. You will hear it.”

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The exhibit is working with Chelsea Public Schools to get students to see the exhibit, Freeman said, along with planned visits with other organizations.

J. Kelly Beatty, editor-in-chief of Sky & Telescope, said many young people don’t remember the Apollo astronauts’ last mission to the moon more than 50 years ago. From 1969 to 1972, Apollo carried a dozen astronauts to the lunar surface.

“There was a time when we were collectively and individually attached to every launch, watching every spacecraft rise. And it was a technological achievement for its time that was truly unmatched,” he said.

This is a replica of a NASA control room with an original control panel

Haley Lerner / GBH News

“What the ‘Space Adventure’ exhibit brings is that it brings back those memories in a tangible, visceral way of what it was like to go to the moon and how dangerous that endeavor was,” Beatty continued.

NASA’s new lunar exploration program, Artemis, explores the lunar surface for technological advances and establishes a long-term presence there. The next manned mission to the moon is scheduled to start in 2025.

“It’s a story that’s emerging for a whole new generation of us,” Beatty said.

One of the benefits of the exhibition, he said, is that it offers real artifacts and scale models so people can understand what it really took to get to the moon.

“A lot of people my age remember those days and remember how exciting it was. And it gives them a chance not only to relive that for themselves, but maybe to introduce it to their grandkids,” Beatty said.

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Matt Solomon, from Rehoboth, said he attended the exhibit because one of his sons, Emmett, loved all things NASA.

“It was amazing. Insanely awesome. Epic,” Emmett said.

Stefany Garces from Salem never thought she would ever see original space suits worn by astronauts. She said the entire exhibition was visually “a feast for the eyes”.

“I’m a big fan of astronauts in space and stuff like that,” she said. “As soon as I saw it, I was like, Wow, that’s it, I have to go.”

Visitors can experience the history of space exploration at the Space Adventure: The Arrival of Man on the Moon exhibit in Chelsea, MA

Haley Lerner / GBH News

Sally Rando, from Marlborough, said the whole experience was “worth it”.

“I grew up during that time,” she says. “I mean, I remember when they landed on the moon in July ’69 and I’ve been following it ever since.”

The exhibit at Webster Ave. 121 in Chelsea is open until April 2 and seven days a week.