Montreal, July 23, 2018 – Visitors to the Montréal Science Centre now can touch a real lunar rock that is 3.8 billion years old. Collected on the Moon in 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission, this touchable lunar rock is only the 10th of its kind in the world and the first accessible to the Quebec public.
Before travelling to Montreal, this Moon rock was carefully stored at the NASA laboratories, where it was protected from the Earth's atmosphere. This famous basalt rock has never been touched before, except by the NASA experts who prepared it for its trip to Montreal.
New Water in the Universe zone
The Moon rock, weighing 24 grams and as big as an eraser, will be the star of the Centre’s new Water in the Universe zone, which will present objects related to our search for water, a substance essential to life as we know it. Some of the unusual objects that visitors will be able to examine include:
A rock containing the oldest traces of life discovered to date;
A vial of water dating back over a billion years;
A Martian meteorite;
Lunar module landing-gear legs (manufactured by the Quebec company Héroux-Devtek and used on all the Apollo missions);
A prototype of the wheel model that will equip the rover for the ExoMars mission, to be launched in 2020, developed by MDA.
To gain access to this new zone, visitors will need to purchase a ticket to the exhibitions.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first humans on the Moon
The opening of this new zone coincides with the start of a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first manned landing on the Moon. The exhibition launch was preceded by a conference by Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques.
Quote from Isabel Dansereau, Executive Director, Old Port of Montréal Corporation:
"The invaluable collaboration of several partners in science and industry has enabled us to offer visitors to the Science Centre the unique opportunity to come into contact with items that have marked, and continue to mark, the quest for water in the Universe. Pooling our efforts furthers our mission to interest the public, both young and old, in science."
About the Montréal Science Centre
With more than 700,000 visitors annually, the Montréal Science Centre is a complex dedicated to science and technology. It is characterized by its widely accessible, interactive approach and its showcasing of local innovation and know-how.
Source :Montréal Science Centre
Public Relations Manager