Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

MOSI shows off its latest exhibition: Mission: Moonbase

TAMPA — Four-year-old Ryan Gill sat on his father's lap as the two navigated the moon's rough, powdery terrain.

Dressed in a NASA space suit — his Halloween costume this year — Ryan spotted the sun along the horizon.

"Go there!" he shouted.

"You can't drive to the sun," said his dad, Tracy Gill, a project manager for NASA. "It's millions of miles away."

Gill and his son were not in space. They were at Thursday's "sneak peek'' of the Museum of Science & Industry's new exhibition, "Mission: Moonbase," which gives visitors a glimpse of what life could be like inside a lunar colony in 2070.

"We're giving this opportunity to let anybody from 2 to 92 experience going to the moon without actually going," museum president Wit Ostrenko said before opening the silver doors leading to the colony. "It is not a ride. It is an experience."

After more than three years in development, "Mission: Moonbase" will make its public debut Saturday. It was created by MOSI and NASA officials, Ostrenko said. The project cost $2 million, with $1.2 million from a NASA grant.

A pair of automatic doors opens into the 2,500-square foot permanent exhibition. Inside, a screen on the ground shows a simulation of the earth as it slowly moves away from the shuttle headed toward the colony.

Moments later, more doors glide open to reveal the colony.

Among the features inside is a simulation ride, where Gill and his son found themselves Thursday morning.

There also tables with interactive screens where visitors can zoom in on animated flash cards for fun facts about the moon, along with stations where people can control the daily operations of the colony, including horticulture and water processing.

"I'm amazed. I'm 100 percent amazed," said Lauren Brown, an eighth-grader at Stewart Middle Magnet School.

Laura C. Morel can be reached at (813)226-3386, or

. Fast Facts

If you go

For general admission, children under age 2 can enter free of charge.

Children 2 to 12: $17.95

Ages 13 to 59: $21.95

60 and older: $19.95

MOSI shows off its latest exhibition: Mission: Moonbase 12/13/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Salvador Dali's body will soon be exhumed in paternity suit


    FIGUERES, Spain — Salvador Dali's eccentric artistic and personal history took yet another bizarre turn Thursday with the exhumation of his embalmed remains in order to find genetic samples that could settle whether one of the founding figures of surrealism fathered a girl decades ago.

    Pilar Abel, poses for a photograph after a news conference in Madrid, where she claimed to be the daughter of eccentric artist Salvador Dali.  After two decades of court battles, a Madrid judge granted Abel a DNA test to find out whether her allegations are true, and the exhumation is scheduled to begin Thursday night. [Associated Press]
  2. Spring Hill couple arrested on drug charges after months-long investigation


    SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill couple was arrested Wednesday on several drug charges after a months-long investigation by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

    Hernando County Sheriff's Office detectives stand behind 24 pounds of marijuana seized by the agency during a drug bust this week. [Photo by Megan Reeves]
  3. New Pinellas Trail stretch draws raves at opening

    Human Interest

    EAST LAKE — Mike Siebel bikes the Pinellas Trail four days a week and loops up and down the Suncoast Trail at least a couple times every year. A 68-year-old cycling diehard, he was so eager for the opening of the 5-mile segment extending the Pinellas Trail to the Pasco border that he would often drive across …

    Cyclists wait for the official opening of the Pinellas Trail's newest segment. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  4. Authorities recover body of missing boater in Lake Thonotosassa


    THONOTOSASSA — Authorities on Thursday recovered the body of a 44-year-old Plantation man who went missing while boating on Lake Thonotosassa.

  5. Chester Bennington, Linkin Park singer, dies by suicide at 41: Report


    Chester Bennington, the flame-throated singer of enormosly popular metal band Linkin Park, has reportedly committed suicide at age 41.

    Chester Bennington and Linkin Park last performed in Tampa at Steinbrenner Field in 2014.