Health Museum takes visitors to Mars

HOUSTON The Museum of Health's newest exhibit starts by posing the question, "Would you go to Mars?" You can vote "yes" or "no" by picking which gate to walk through, but once inside you may find this interactive exhibit will change your mind.

Travelling to "The Red Planet" may seem like a distant dream now, but kids visiting The Health Museum are learning it's one they may one day achieve -- that is, if they actually want to.

"I think it would just be cool," museum visitor Elliot Ballard said. "I've always wanted to be an astronaut."

The trip itself would be a long one -- about three years there and back, which means growing your own food and living in close quarters.

Communication would be difficult, and a walk on Mars could leave you a bit wobbly, and so might a spin on your space ship.

But, these exhibits are based on research scientists at NASA and the Houston Medical Center are now tackling.

"I think it surprises people how much research goes into space flight, and what it would actually require and how long it would take," the Houston Museum of Health and Medicine's Vice President of Education Becky Seabrook said.

Museum visitor William Ballard, who made his third trip through the exhibit, said he wouldn't mind taking part in the adventure of a lifetime.

"Mars is a pretty good place," he said. "It's fun."

If anything, the exhibit seems to convince people that it may be easier to stay on Earth. The museum takes a second poll as visitors walk out of the door, and the number of people still willing to visit Mars is a lot lower.

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