Discovery Park of America to Host Temporary Exhibit “Astronaut”

Katie Jarvis

Nov. 13, 2019

Opening Jan. 17, 2020, this exhibit uses hands-on and full-body displays to illustrate what it takes to be a space explorer.

Union City, Tenn. – Discovery Park of America announced today that the museum will be bringing “Astronaut” to West Tennessee in 2020. This popular exhibit allows guests to explore the physical and mental challenges involved in space exploration and to discover what life is like outside Earth’s atmosphere.

Located in the ATA Traveling Exhibit Hall, the exhibit features 26 stations that demonstrate how life is lived in space with zero gravity. Guests can test their grip strength in special gloves that mimic the pressurized spacesuit, or they can work together to smoothly launch their own space mission.

“As partners with teachers in the region, we chose this exhibit because it enhances many of the STEAM lessons students are being taught in the classroom,” said Jennifer Wildes, collections and exhibits director for Discovery Park. “Parents and teachers will also appreciate the focus on teamwork, problem solving and how to overcome challenges.”

The education team at Discovery Park has space-related programs to offer school groups when they visit. Additionally, there is a School and Visitors Guide available online that covers key messages and learning opportunities that are included throughout the exhibit, as well as supplemental projects that can be done at home or in the classroom before or after a visit.

“One of the reasons this is such a great temporary exhibit for Discovery Park is that we have so many other space-related exhibits out at STEM Landing and in the Science, Space and Technology Gallery,” said Discovery Park’s CEO Scott Williams. “When combined with “Astronaut,” guests will enjoy a unique experience that rivals any space or science museum in the world.”

The most visible item on display in STEM Landing—and the largest artifact in Discovery Park’s collection—is a fully restored Titan I Missile that was donated to the park by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and was transported here from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. in 2016.

The centerpiece of STEM Landing is the Moon Dome, a 24-foot high geodesic dome, built of galvanized steel, and covered with a giant NASA image of the Moon printed on vinyl. Inside the Moon Dome are many artifacts that catalog the achievements of human space exploration, including artifacts from NASA’s Space Shuttle Program.

Members of Discovery Park will have the first chance to explore the new exhibit on Thurs., Jan. 16, 2020 at a members-only event. “Astronaut” will be open to the public Jan. 17 – May 3, 2020. Tickets for “Astronaut” will be $6.95 in addition to the price of admission to Discovery Park. Special pricing of $4.95 is available for student groups. For more information or to book a field trip, educators should call reservations at 731-885-5455 or email

The mission of Discovery Park of America, a premier world-class museum and 50-acre heritage park located in Union City, Tennessee, is to inspire children and adults to see beyond. Included is a 100,000-square-foot museum featuring 9 interactive exhibit galleries with additional space for temporary exhibits from around the world and a 50-acre heritage park. Discovery Park of America is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations including its principal funder, the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation. For more information, visit, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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