If last Tuesday (20) it was 52 years since Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, it was also on that day that Jeff Bezos flew into space with his own commercial spaceship. Days earlier, another billionaire, Richard Branson, had done the same thing, with some technical differences in the trip.
In times of Covid-19 and the economic crisis that is preventing more modest budgets from traveling into space, it may be possible to escape Earth for almost 2 hours in São Paulo. The exhibition “Futuro Espacial” arrives in Farol Santander this Friday 23rd and aims to show visitors what the moon and the planet Mars look like.
Spread over two floors, the exhibition tells of the visits to the room that have already taken place and those that are still to be visited, and it compiles replicas of objects from space travel.
The exhibition begins on the 23rd floor of the lighthouse in a room called Estação Lua, which comes as close as possible to the lunar atmosphere with its bluish lighting. During a tour of the site, for example, a mapped projection system makes the floor full of footprints – as if the visitor were walking on the floor of the moon. Floors and walls, adhesive structures and panels complete the ambience.
NASA is currently developing a rocket called the Space Launch System (or SLS) to take astronauts to the moon and eventually Mars. The rocket shouldn’t be ready until the end of this year, but the curious can take a look at the project in the exhibition. There is a three-meter-long replica of the SLS on site.
A replica of the Orion capsule, built by NASA for space exploration, was also built. The Gateway space station, which is supposed to serve as the fulcrum for astronauts, also got a replica.
Another highlight is the chance to see what an astronaut’s outfit looks like, with a replica of a costume called xEMU that the first woman and next man to fly to the moon will wear in the years to come. So far only 12 men have set foot on the lunar soil.
At the end of the first part of the visit, there is a room called “Dark Side of the Moon” that brings together works related to the satellite, such as the band Pink Floyd’s album and the song “A Lua e Eu”, by singer and composer Cassiano.
As you descend a floor, the lighting takes on an orange tone. With earthy colored walls, rocky textures and a floor full of stones, Estação Marte is the continuation of the exhibition.
On the 22nd floor of the building, visitors can learn about the Artemis program, which is supposed to take people to the moon and, years later, to Mars. A replica of the costume the astronauts will wear to fly to the red planet is also on display.
Today, robots and astromobiles, a type of space exploration vehicle, are used on exploration missions on Mars. Anyone who goes to Farol can also meet them – always with reproductions, of course.
To go to the fair you have to pay R $ 25, students and children up to 12 years pay R $ 12.50, while visitors up to 2 years and 11 months pay nothing – the 18-year-old who went to the room with Bezos, for example, he was traveling instead of a person who spent more than R $ 140 million on the tour. Entrance to Farol Santander entitles you to a visit of 1h45. Due to the pandemic, the maximum capacity on each floor of the exhibition is 50 people.
São Paulo will also have a second exhibition on space. Called “Space Adventure,” the show arrives in the parking lot of the Eldorado shopping mall on August 26th and will also assemble replicas of space objects like the Apollo 11 capsule that first brought humans to the moon in 1969.
If you want to leave your home, remember that São Paulo is still a part of planet earth. So wear a mask and keep your distance.