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Journey to Space exhibit coming to Waterloo, Ontario

Ever dreamed at landing on the International Space Station but you just don’t have the right stuff to make it as an astronaut?

Well, if you can make it to Waterloo, Ontario next year the ISS can come to you…sort of.

Journey to Space, a traveling exhibition that simulates a journey to the International Space Station will launch at the Waterloo Region Museum on February 1 of next year. It’s an event its hosts say is happening at the right time.

“Our new Journey to Space exhibit is very timely, as Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques has just started his mission and will be the first Canadian to visit the International Space Station since Chris Hadfield visited in 2013,” says Adèle Hempel, Manager/Curator of Region of Waterloo Museums.

Dating back to 2010, Journey to Space is a collaborative project led by the Science Museum of Minnesota and the California Science Center.

Through a simulation that has covered more than 10,000 square feet at past installations, participants can manage the life support system and power units aboard the ISS, launch rockets, move robotic arms an experience weightlessness.

“The exhibition will encourage museum visitors to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and smells that astronauts experience traveling to, and living in, space; to engage as problem solvers with some of the unique engineering challenges that must be solved to support living and working in space; and to experience life aboard the International Space Station interpreted through the voices of engineers, scientists, and astronauts,” NASA said at its launch.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield in 2012 became the first Canadian to command the International Space Station. He achieved that accomplishment after becoming the first Canadian to walk in space, in 2001. Hadfield became a science superstar when he broadcast live from the ISS, playing his guitar, taking questions live, and even brushing his teeth.

“”This is something I’ve really worked hard to be prepared for, an unprecedented opportunity personally and professionally and nationally, and I’m just really pleased that I’m in a position and really happy to have the chance to pick up the reins here,” the Canadian astronaut told CBC at the time.

On Monday, David Saint-Jacques joined the crew of the ISS. A doctor, Saint-Jacques will spend part of his time conducting medical experiments and operating Canadaarm2.

And while its an admirable achievement, some are speculating the 48 year-old astronaut could be Canada’s last, as the Canada Space Agency has reeled in the face of budget cuts for nearly two-decades.

“If we don’t have that ticket for the moon, not only do we not have those industrial investments and jobs, we won’t have a current way for astronauts to go to space,” Gordon Osinski, a professor at Western University and Canada Research Chair in earth and space exploration told Huffington Post. “No more Canadian astronauts will be a bit of a shock to the Canadian system.”

Journey to Space will exhibit at the Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road, Kitchener, Ontario from February 1 to April 28, 2019.

Below: Journey to Space launches at Dallas’s Perot Museum…

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