Space Exploration

The NASA Glenn Visitor Center makes a splash landing at the science center.

The Great Lakes Science Center is taking one giant leap forward with the long-awaited opening of its redesigned NASA Glenn Visitor Center on March 30.

Themed around traveling to, living in and exploring space, the two initial galleries will open this month as part of the $5 million project that relocated the Glenn visitor center from the NASA Glenn Research Center in Brook Park.

"So much of the research there has made its way into space," says Dante Centuori, director of creative productions at the science center.

Using video, interactive displays and artifacts, the galleries highlight how the Glenn research center has shaped space exploration, from contributing to the liquid-fuel engines used in Saturn rockets to battery cells for the space shuttle. The third gallery, scheduled to open in June, features hands-on exhibits dedicated to NASA Glenn accomplishments in propulsion, aeronautics and power systems.

But during the first phase, visitors can view artifacts such as landing airbags and parachutes crucial to recent Mars missions.

"We couldn't have gotten to Mars without going through Cleveland," says Centuori. "We should be proud of that."

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