EARTHLINGS can explore Mars' surface and take the ultimate celestial selfie this summer at a new hands-on exhibition at Newcastle Museum.
Australia in Space officially opened on Wednesday, with interactive exhibits that allow guests to command a rover on the red planet and step onboard a space station to take a photo 'in orbit' above Australia.
Aspiring astronauts can build their own spacesuit and discover the realities of trying to sleep, wash their hair, cook and eat food in space as well as use a hand-held 'medical scanner' to explore the effects of space on the human body.
City of Newcastle (CN) lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the council is determined to bring world-class exhibitions to the region.
"Newcastle Museum is committed to attracting engaging, high quality touring exhibitions for the Hunter region that enrich Newcastle's cultural offering and give local communities access to national and international experiences," she said.
"Developed by the renowned Questacon National Science and Technology Centre, Australia in Space has something for everybody and celebrates innovation, science and technology.
"Visitors will be inspired by the achievements, aspirations and motivations of Australians in the space sector, with the work of women and First Nations people featuring prominently."
Other out-of-this-world displays include a virtual telescope that links to iconic deep space missions and a laser-based puzzle game that shows how satellites allow over-the-horizon communications.
Friends can work together to manage orbital traffic and tackle space junk in a cooperative computer game based on Australian technology, or marvel at an airport-inspired 'Earth departures board' which draws on real details of upcoming rocket launches around the globe.
Visitors can learn about space weather and discover how Bureau of Meteorology scientists monitor, research and predict electromagnetic storms in order to protect power grids.
CN museum, archive, libraries and learning director Julie Baird said Australia in Space will excite and inspire audiences of all ages.
"The exhibition is designed to welcome space enthusiasts and newcomers alike, getting all visitors on-board with Australia's vision for a vibrant and diverse space sector," she said.
"Free science shows will also run throughout the school holidays to complement the exhibition.
"I'd encourage our visitors to make a day or weekend trip to explore Australia in Space as well as Newcastle Museum's other exhibitions, activities and collections."
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for concession card holders, $7.50 for children between five and 14.
Children under five are free and family passes are available for $40.
For more information visit the museum website.
IN THE NEWS:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.