Mobile’s Exploreum Aims for the Stars

The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center, located in downtown Mobile, Alabama,  is featuring Cosmos 2021: Adventure into the Unknown through September 6. A unique collaboration with NASA, the exhibit takes visitors on a journey from the earliest beginnings of the space program to the future and NASA’s plans for a manned mission to Mars.

The Exploreum worked closely with NASA sites including Huntsville Space and Rocket Center and Marshall Space Flight Center to assemble the expansive collection which includes, naturally, the toilet from Skylab.

The toilet from the Skylab

One popular feature of the exhibit is the interactive rocket launcher. Visitors can adjust the rocket to help it fly accurately, then take it to the launcher, aim and fire.  A supplementary exhibit entitled Mission  Aerospace features an interactive maze through which visitors can explore the history of flight, navigation and NASA’s plans for future missions. Director of Marketing and Design  Josh Holland  says along with Mission Aerospace, the most popular item in the exhibit is the life-size replica of a rocket segment in the atrium.

The exhibit includes the gyro from the Saturn rocket

“A lot of the groups and families that were around for the first part of the ‘Space Race’ really enjoy all of the fascinating artifacts from the various NASA missions over the years.”

During the exhibit, the Exploreum Education Team has implemented a variety of programs and activities including special events, guest speakers, contests and scavenger hunts.

Meanwhile, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Digital Dome Theater is showing a special feature movie, Journey to Space. The film builds on the groundbreaking giant screen space productions of the past thirty years to chronicle the space shuttle program, the International Space Station and the Hubble Telescope. Journey to Space is both a celebration of space exploration and a look at the future and NASA’s planned manned mission to Mars.

What the well-dressed astronaut is wearing

Voted Mobile’s #1 family attraction and one of the best science centers in the country, the Exploreum features more than 150 interactive exhibits including a variety of permanent and traveling hands-on science adventures, all  furthering the center’s mission to increase science literacy. Normally open from Tuesday through Saturday, the Exploreum will be open Labor Day for the last day of the exhibit.  Due to concerns about Covid19, the Exploreum has reimplemented the mask ordinance in line with the City of Mobile’s policy.

For more information on visiting the Exploreum, check the website at

photos courtesy Gulf Coast Exploreum

Kathie Farnell
Kathie Farnell
Freelance writer Kathie Farnell lives in Foley, Alabama, ten miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, with her husband, photographer Jack Purser, and a flock of cats. She has written travel articles for print and web publications since 1992, and also produces programming for public television and radio through her nonprofit corporation, Artemis Media Project. The couple enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations and spending time on the Gulf beaches.

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