GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — The Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library will host a traveling space-themed exhibition beginning Sept. 7 and lasting until Jan. 5. "SPACE: A Journey To Our Future" is an interactive exhibit made possible by an educational collaboration between NASA and Evergreen Exhibitions.
The purpose of the 5,000-square-foot SPACE exhibition is to present educational elements in scenic environments that inspire the future of space exploration, according to the library. The exhibit was featured at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
"It's been at major science centers and museums across North America, so we're really excited to bring an educational exhibit that also has an entertainment factor to it, especially this year when we're commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing," said library director Debbie Saunders. "We believe that would be a great opportunity for those in the Tri-State area and hopefully beyond to be able to see an exhibit of this caliber a little closer to home."
Some of the interactive elements include opportunities to touch pieces of the moon and Mars, ride a self-powered centrifuge and tour a full-scale moon habitat, Saunders said.
There is no admission charge for the SPACE exhibit, and Saunders said groups and the general public are encouraged to book reservations online at bossardlibrary.org to ensure entry to the exhibit, though they are not required. The exhibit is self-paced and self-guided, so attendees may take their time through it, Saunders said.
The Bossard Memorial Library and the Gallia-Vinton Educational Service Center are partnering to present "An Evening with Astronaut Garrett Reisman" at 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Gallia Academy High School gym. This event is free and open to the public.
"In this year that we're commemorating everything space related, we thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to also give people in the Tri-State area a chance to hear an astronaut give a keynote presentation," Saunders said. "With his credentials and experience, it's just amazing to have someone of his caliber."
Reisman was selected by NASA as a mission specialist astronaut. His first mission was in 2008, during which he spent 95 days aboard the International Space Station. His second mission, in 2010, was aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which returned him to the Space Station.
During these missions, Reisman performed three spacewalks, operated the Space Station Robot Arm and was a flight engineer aboard the Space Shuttle, according to a news release from the library. Reisman is now a professor of astronautical engineering at USC and a senior adviser at SpaceX.
"We really encourage families, groups and people just to come and hear him speak," Saunders said. "That gym holds about 2,000 people so we just hope to pack the house. There's no ticketing, it's first come, first serve, but we expect to have a large crowd that night."