Kids and parents are invited to blast off starting May 7 at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum with the new “Mission to Mars” rocket ship and mission control exhibit.  On special loan from the Habitot Children’s Museum in Berkeley, CA this wildly popular rocket ship exhibit will stay docked at the SMVDM through August.  The exhibit will then travel back through space to its permanent home, so would-be rocketeers and astronauts are invited to explore this amazing exhibit, consider what it will be like to travel to Mars, and to explore ideas about life on other planets while the exhibit visits Santa Maria this Summer.

“Partnering with world class museums like Habitot, helps us have access to exceptional exhibits, like their Rocket Ship, that we wouldn’t be able to afford on our own.  I’m thrilled with this partnership, with their generosity, and the enormous fun and learning that kids in our community will be able to enjoy,” says Kelly White O’Neill, executive director of the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum.

Equipped with engines, control panels, a communication system and space suits, a team of pint-sized astronauts can imagine the possibilities of going on a mission to Mars.  With Earth not too far away, junior space engineers can sit a mission control, or command and pilot a space flight anywhere their imagination can take them.  Once the team “lands” on Mars, they can climb

the Museum’s popular “Mars Rock Wall” and consider aspects of life on Mars.  The rocket ship represents a central part of the exhibit, with themed space programs and other activities happening throughout the Summer at the Museum.

Current Museum members are invited to a members only “launch party” on Saturday, May 7th from 3 – 6 pm and can enjoy astronaut food, a Mars making craft, space experiments with Mad Science from at 4 pm, face painting, and of course exclusive time to enjoy this great new exhibit.  The SMVDM is offering a May Membership bonus to encourage and reward new members by offering two FREE youth-sized “Mission to Mars” t-shirts for anyone who buys a Reciprocal Museum Membership during the month of May.  Members who have, or buy, a current a Museum Membership, of any level, before May 7th can enjoy all the fun of the members only “launch party.”

Everyone is invited to this ongoing 4-month event so fire up your jet packs and get down to the Discovery Museum today!  The Discovery Museum is located at 705 S. McClelland in Santa Maria and is open 6 days per week and the last Sunday of every month.  Visit the museum’s website at to find out information on programs, hours, to purchase a membership or to find out about other museum exhibits and services