Mayborn Museum looks to the future with ‘Journey to Space’ exhibit

The astronauts in the "Journey to Space" exhibit will be available to view until April 21. Assoah Ndomo | Photographer

By Jamie Barrett | Reporter

An out-of-this-world experience is one way to describe the Mayborn Museum’s new Journey to Space exhibit. The exhibit will remain open through April 21, allowing the Waco community to learn more about what it really means for humans to live and survive in space.

Videos, real-life equipment and interactive displays are just some of the ways the exhibit tells the story of how dangerous and complex life in space is. Dr. Walter “Sparky” Matthews, retired first surgeon general of the U.S. Space Force, said the problem is the environment.

“When you are talking about space and planets, the enemy is the environment,” Matthews said.

Above the exhibit are the words, “Space can kill you.” As soon as visitors enter, they are welcomed with interactive displays featuring some of the difficulties of living in space, including pressure changes, extremely low temperatures and a lack of necessary nutrients. The museum aims to inform the average citizen who may not realize the adjustments astronauts have to make while in space.

With the solar eclipse happening on April 8 and the SpaceX Rocket Development Facility right in Waco’s backyard of McGregor, the exhibit is helpful in bringing awareness to what is happening pertaining to space and why. Matthews said educating those who may be a part of the next stepping stone for humanity is important.

“The first person to step onto the surface of Mars is walking around somewhere,” Matthews said. “One of these kids that goes to that space exhibit might be that first person.”

Journey to Space is currently one of the biggest exhibits at the Mayborn Museum. Marketing coordinator Molly Noah said it aims to create more interest in space among the Waco community.

“The Mayborn really wanted to have exhibits that really foster love for space, the moon and the way our solar system works,” Noah said.

Tickets to the exhibit are included in the general admission costs at the museum, which is located at 1300 S University Parks Drive.