Where science fiction meets science fact

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

DAVENPORT, Iowa (January 19, 2014) – The Putnam is excited to announce the Saturday, January 31 launch of Alien Worlds and Androids. Special thanks to John Deere, Riverboat Development Authority, Quad City Times and OnMedia for supporting this touring, interactive museum exhibition featuring scientific and educational content from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA.

Visitors will join scientists in their search for alien life within and beyond our solar system, discover strange alien-like creatures found here on Earth, and learn about the technologies used to explore remote solar systems and extreme environments found on Earth. Through life-sized presentations of familiar characters such as Iron Man and C3PO, visitors will explore how science fiction icons have inspired many of these discoveries and how scientific and technological advances, once thought to be the stuff of books and film, are becoming more and more possible.

Produced by Global Experience Specialists (GES), Alien Worlds and Androids takes on the question that has fascinated man for centuries: “Are We Alone?” Through the use of robots, telescopes, space probes and high-tech laboratories, scientists have been studying the possibility of life existing beyond Earth and what forms it may take depending on the environment. This exhibition has nine areas highlighting their studies and findings: Are We Alone, Looking for Life in Space, Alien Life on Earth, Artificial Intelligence and Robots, Robot Space Explorers, Explore the Solar System, The Robotization of Planet Earth, I-Cyborg, and The Human Microbiome.

Alien Worlds and Androids will be on exhibit at the Putnam Museum & Science Center January 31, 2015 through May 25, 2015. Visitors may purchase an Adventure Package at $14.50 for adults, $12.50 for seniors, students and military and $11.00 for children to include this special exhibit in their experience. Visitors may also purchase an Ultimate Explorers Package at $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, students and military, and $15.50 for children to include the exhibit and a ticket to Journey to Space 3D. Special member pricing is only $5 for children and $7 for adults for the exhibit, and $13.50 for adults and $8 for children for the exhibit and film. Remember: entry into the Putnam NOW includes the Science Center – complete with over 40 hands-on science stations!

A senior and military discount of $1 is available to both members and non-members. Children under 3 get in free!

Media will have exclusive opportunities to preview the exhibit as it is being assembled as well as before being opened to the general public. Further information will be provided through forthcoming media alerts.

The perfect complement to the exhibit: Journey to Space 3D on the GIANT screen

Also making its national debut January 31 is Journey to Space 3D in Putnam's National Geographic GIANT Screen Theater sponsored by Alcoa. Through visually stunning imagery, and in collaboration with leading space experts, Journey to Space 3D showcases the exciting plans NASA and the space community are working on and the challenges they must overcome to carry out missions, once considered science fiction, such as landing astronauts on Mars. The film calls attention to the reality that the space program did not die with the end of the Shuttle Program in 2011. It is instead, vibrantly alive.

Journey to Space 3D also gives a fitting tribute to the Space Shuttle Program and the 355 astronauts who flew on the 135 Shuttle missions. This historical chapter in the film describes how the Shuttle Program’s early discoveries helped us understand how to live and operate in space. In fact, it’s the lessons learned during those early missions that have enabled the future missions covered in the film.

The film also gives a strong overview of the Shuttle’s last major project – the launch and assembly of the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is a joint collaboration of 15 nations, operating 24/7 and providing a true home and science lab in space. ISS crews’ tours of duty have averaged six months, and NASA will begin one-year duration missions starting in this year. Researchers expect the one-year mission to yield beneficial knowledge on the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges explorers may face as they venture to an asteroid, Mars and beyond.

Overall, Journey To Space provides a timely review of how NASA has been transitioning from the end of the Space Shuttle Era to a much more ambitious future that will forever change how we live and operate in space as a species.

Media will have exclusive opportunities to preview the film before its release to the public. Further information will be available in forthcoming media alerts. A trailer for the film can be found at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rRq_VkFRNk

About the Putnam

The Putnam has been inspiring ideas, dialogue and interaction among people of all ages for nearly 150 years! And today, we’re better than ever with hands-on fun for the whole family! Launch rockets or interact with a robot in our Science Center, visit our famous mummies in Unearthing Ancient Egypt, climb into a treehouse in Black Earth | Big River or go back in time to see our region’s history in River, Prairie, and People. Also experience internationally-recognized traveling exhibits or take in a movie in our National Geographic Giant Screen Theater with a screen towering 6 stories tall! Our welcoming team is dedicated to helping you discover and explore in a friendly and engaging place.

For more information about current and upcoming events, exhibits and movies, visit putnam.org.