A moon rock brought to Earth during a lunar expedition in 1969, a futuristic moon habitat, and life-size model of Sputnik 1 — the first artificial satellite ever to orbit Earth — are among the exhibits that are currently being shipped from New York to Ahmedabad for the Vibrant Gujarat summit in January 2019.
“Last year we had an exhibition of Nobel Laureates, this year the theme is “Beyond Planet Earth”, a futuristic exhibition about space exploration. It will be set up on a 10,000 square feet area in Gujarat Science City campus in Ahmedabad. The government is bearing all the expenses of shipping, insurance, travel support of personnel, logistics, installation, etc,” an official from the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat told The Indian Express.
“One of the biggest attraction at the exhibition will be a moon rock that was brought to Earth during the 1969 expedition,” the official said. Other authentic equipment and artefacts on display will include a Soviet Cosmonaut Helmet and an US astronaut’s gloves.
The exhibits are part of a travelling exhibition of American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and Madatech: The Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space.
It will arrive in Mumbai by sea on December 28. The Gujarat government is paying USD 395000 (about Rs 2.8 crore) as expenses to hire this exhibition for a duration of 16 weeks. The exhibition will be formally launched at the Gujarat Science City in Ahmedabad on January 17 and the expenses are being borne by Gujarat Council of Science and Technology (GUJCOST), an autonomous body working under the Department of Science and Technology.
A section of the exhibition on asteroids will include a large 3-D recreation of the near Earth asteroid Itokawa and the Japanese Hayabusa spacecraft that rendezvoused with it in 2005 to collect samples. There will also be video theater shows a futuristic journey to Europa, one of the moons orbiting Jupiter.
Models of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, the Hubble telescope, a lunar tire and a touchable swatch of tire material and scale models of a future moon habitat that could house four astronauts and a lunar elevator that would help transport mined minerals, will be among the other exhibits.