Explorers


A journey to the edge of the Solar system and beyond.

Guided Tours:
Friday: 8:15pm
Saturday: 10:30am / 12pm / 1:30pm / 3:00pm / 6:00pm / 7:15pm / 8:15pm
Sunday: 10:15am / 12:00 pm / 1:30pm / 3:00pm / 4:30pm / 5:45pm / 6:45 pm/ 8:00pm

Presentation on Saturday January 16 at 5:15pm, 4th floor conference room, by Maria Elena MONZANI, astrophysicist at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. To download the invitation, click here: Explorers

Researching the unknown is one of the deepest aspects of human nature. Our innate need for novelty represents a continuous prompt to “go beyond”, to be open to meet the unexpected, the unknown, the “other” (be it another person, another continent, another planet). Nowadays, science is a unique form of exploration that allows us to expand our knowledge of the physical world to limits that had never been reached before. But there is a precise branch of research that embodies, in modern terms, the same adventure of the ancient marines: space exploration. 

In spite of the great risks, difficulties and losses, the planet exploration programs went on for more than 50 years without interruption. Thanks to the extraordinary technological development, the scientists widened the limits of space exploration far beyond the orbits surrounding the Earth, sending dozens of probes to the other planets and satellites of the Solar System. Launched in 1977, after a 18-bilion-chilometer journey that lasted 36 years, Voyager 1 was the first space ship to exit the limit of our Solar System. Thanks to a rare and favorable planetary alignment, the two Voyager ships reached all the external planets, from Mars to Neptune, discovering new satellites and providing us extraordinary images of unexplored worlds. 

Each one of the Voyagers contains a “Golden Disk”, a sort of “cosmic postcard” containing information about the humans, about the cultural and scientific heritage of our planet, aimed at providing data about us, in the unlikely event extraterrestrials creatures come in touch with one of the space ships. Beyond the low possibilities that something like this may happen, these disks represent an emblematic characteristic of the experience of exploration: the perpetual need to find something or someone. We don’t explore just to find, but also to be found. 

The exhibit will bring the visitors onto the Voyager, in an ideal interplanetary trip that starts from the Earth and reaches the extreme limits of the Solar System. Through historic images, reproduction of space probes, videos and multimedia material, the visitors will come in touch with the extraordinary technical challenges of these explorations, and will be involved the magnificent journeys of the recent missions.