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MUSEUM | 'Be the Astronaut' 

As fascinated as I am by all things outer space, there's not a thing on this green world you could offer me to actually leave terra firma (the deep sea freaks me out, too. What can I say, I like breathing). So The Strong National Museum of Play's new interactive exhibit, "Be the Astronaut," is probably as close as I'll get. The exhibit lets visitors of all ages plan a space mission, learn about the tech and math skills required to be an astronaut, fly spaceships, pilot landers, and drive rovers (in simulation, of course). It also features real meteorites from space, memorabilia from the Soviet space program and Apollo Space Race, full-size spacesuits, and more. Get in, nerds, we're going to Mars.

"Be the Astronaut" takes place at The Strong, 1 Manhattan Square, from Saturday, September 15, through January 7, 2019. Admission is $15 for ages 2 and up, and free to members and babies. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. 263-2700; museumofplay.org.

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