If, last Tuesday (20), it was 52 years since the day Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, it was also on that day that Jeff Bezos flew into space in his own commercial spacecraft. Days earlier, another billionaire, Richard Branson, had done the same, with some technical differences in the trip.
In times of Covid-19 and the economic crisis that prevents humans of more modest budgets from traveling to space, escaping from Earth for almost two hours may be possible in São Paulo. The exhibition “Futuro Espacial” arrives at Farol Santander this Friday, the 23rd, and intends to show visitors what the Moon and the planet Mars are like.
Divided into two floors, the exhibition talks about the visits that have already been made to the space and also those that are yet to take place, in addition to bringing together replicas of objects used in space travel.
The exhibition begins on the 23rd floor of the Lighthouse, in a space called Estação Lua. With bluish lighting, the idea is to make the venue as close as possible to the lunar atmosphere. When walking around the site, for example, a mapped projection system will make the floor full of footprints — as if the visitor were walking on the Moon’s ground. Floors and walls, adhesive textures and panels, complete the ambiance.
NASA is currently developing a rocket called the Space Launch System (or SLS) to take astronauts to the Moon and eventually to Mars. The idea is that the rocket will only be ready at the end of this year, but curious people can take a peek at the project in the exhibition. On site, there is a three-meter replica of the SLS.
A reproduction of the Orion capsule, built by NASA to explore space, was also built. The Gateway space station, which is to be used as a fulcrum for astronauts, also got a replica.
Another highlight is being able to see what an astronaut’s outfit looks like, with a replica of a costume called xEMU, which should wear the first woman and the next man to go to the moon in the coming years. To date, only 12 men have set foot on the lunar ground.
Closing the first part of the visit, there is a space called “Dark Side of the Moon”, which brings together works that refer to the satellite, such as the album by the band Pink Floyd and the song “A Lua e Eu”, by singer and composer Cassiano .
When descending 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 discover the Artemis program, which intends to take human beings to the Moon and, years later, to Mars as well. A replica of the costume the astronauts will wear to go to the red planet is also on display.
Today, robots and astromobiles, a kind of space exploration vehicle, are used in exploratory missions on Mars. Anyone who goes to Farol will also be able to meet them — always with reproductions, of course.
To go to the show, you need to pay R$25. Students and children up to 12 years old pay R$12.50, while visitors aged up to two years and 11 months do not pay —the 18-year-old who went with Bezos to the space, for example, he traveled in the place of a person who spent more than R$140 million for the tour. Admission to Farol Santander entitles you to a visit of one hour and 45 minutes. Because of the pandemic, the maximum capacity allowed on each floor of the exhibition is 50 people.
São Paulo will also have a second exhibition on outer space. Called “Space Adventure”, the show arrives at the Eldorado mall parking lot on August 26 and will also bring together replicas of space items, such as the Apollo 11 capsule, which took the first men to the moon in 1969.
If you are going to leave home, remember that São Paulo is still part of planet Earth. So wear a mask and keep your distance.