Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

New Cosmodome: focus on virtual space exploration

November 28, 2011

Countdown to lift-off: 17 days
Book your seat for a trip to the Moon, Mars or the outer limits of our galaxy!

“The Cosmodome wants to spark young people’s interest in space exploration. They’re
the ones who will be the pioneers of the Red Planet! The first person
who will set foot on Mars is currently living on Earth.”

- Sylvain B©lair, Executive Director Cosmodome, Member of NASA Space Exploration Board

“I’m convinced the creators of the new Cosmodome will inspire young people to consider a career in aerospace. Who knows?
Maybe the astronauts of tomorrow will discover their interest in space
after visiting the

- David Saint-Jacques, Canadian Space Agency Astronaut, Jury Member, Cosmoclub Contest

LAVAL, QC, Nov. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – The Cosmodome‘s transformation [ins©rer ici un lien pour l'ouverture du PDF de la
fiche Renouvellement, version anglaise] will soon be completed, making
it a centre that will stimulate interest in space adventure and spark
enthusiasm for space. On December 15, it will open the door to a new
and unusual concept: a virtual experience of space and methods of space
exploration. Unique in Canada, this museum dedicated to astronautics
will present three interactive space missions that are scientific,
educational and entertaining. During their 60-minute virtual
experience, visitors will take part in a mission of their choice: reliving the conquest of the Moon, embarking on the perilous journey to Mars, or discovering the mysteries of the cosmos by launching a probe.

Everything has been designed to immerse the participants in a space
station atmosphere. Most of the Cosmodome has been transformed to accommodate a boarding platform that leads to
17 futuristic modules, where the visitors can take part in scenarios
that provide a wealth of information and interaction. This new concept
was developed in association with gsmprct(o), a firm with cutting-edge expertise in audiovisual, interactive and
multimedia museum technologies.

The redevelopment of the program for the museum portion of the Cosmodome was launched in 2009, with extensive prior planning by the centre’s
management. It was completed within the projected budget of
$10.5 million, which included grants of $7 million from the Government
of Quebec and $3.5 million from the Ville de Laval, owner of the Cosmodome building and the land on which it sits. In addition to the three
virtual space missions, the Cosmodome has also updated its permanent exhibition of artefacts from the conquest of space and still offers its Space Camp for budding astronauts.

“The Cosmodome has been updated to reflect advances in space exploration and new
museum practices that will capture the interest of our primary target
audience: visitors aged nine to 15, who are fascinated by anything
experiential. Of course, we are also targeting families, school groups
and even corporate groups. The images, anecdotes and scientific facts
presented and the virtual experiences the participants will enjoy have
been validated by a scientific committee. With the introduction of this
new concept, we intend to double our attendance in 2012 and have set
ourselves a goal of more than 150,000 visitors,” said Sylvain B©lair,
the Cosmodome‘s Executive Director.

Michelle Courchesne, Minister responsible for Government Administration,
Chair of the conseil du tr©sor and Minister responsible for the Laval
region, was delighted with her government’s support for the
transformation [ins©rer ici un lien pour l'ouverture du PDF de la fiche
Renouvellement, version anglaise] of the Cosmodome: “The Quebec government is proud to have supported this original
transformation, the only one of its kind in Canada. We hope it will
spark an interest in space and science among its young visitors. The Cosmodome is very important for Quebec, from both a recreotourism and educational
perspective. The province is home to one of the world’s largest
aerospace clusters, and several of its companies make a significant
contribution to space exploration.”

Innovation and ‘democratization’ of space exploration

Laval’s Mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt, stressed the scientific innovation
deployed at the new Cosmodome: “The Cosmodome introduces innovation and is positioned as a high-level museum that
will ‘democratize’ space exploration and make it literally accessible
to everyone. It promises to become a world-class scientific
recreotourism destination and will spearhead recreotourism in the Laval
region. This is a remarkable contribution to the youth of Laval and
young people from all over.”

Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques took part in the news conference via video. He was one of the jury
members for the Cosmoclub Contest to select the first young crew to participate in the Red Planet virtual mission. Their experience will take place on December 3 during the Journ©e nationale des D©brouillards, an event organized by the CLSM, the Conseil pour la Relve Scientifique (Conseil du loisir scientifique de la r©gion m©tropolitaine), at the Cosmodome.

About the new Cosmodome  www.cosmodome.org

The Cosmodome is Canada’s only museum dedicated to the understanding of space
exploration. It is recognized as one of five metropolitan recreotourism
facilities in Greater Montreal. The Cosmodome seeks to be an educational reference and to stimulate interest in
scientific culture, space sciences and astronautics among visitors of
all ages, from here and further afield. Visitors can take part in three
educational interactive missions that will make them travel and literally live space. The Cosmodome also features a permanent exhibition of artefacts of space travel as well as the Yuri Gagarin Documentation Centre. They can also attend Space Camp, a franchise of the US Space Camp, for apprentice astronauts. The Cosmodome offers a series of workshops, activities and events for the general
public, and school and corporate groups.

Located in Laval at the intersection of highways 15 and 440, the Cosmodome can be easily accessed from the Montmorency metro station. To explore
the Cosmodome virtually, prepare for a visit or find the latest information on space
and astronautics, visit the new website at www.cosmodome.org or the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Cosmodome.

SOURCE Cosmodome

Image with caption: “Simple and expressive, the Cosmodome’s logo evokes a orbiting planet or a window looking out onto space. It consists of the word “Cosmodome” and an orbit formed by the second, oversized “O” (CNW Group/Cosmodome)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111128_C9590_PHOTO_EN_7291.jpg

Image with caption: “Poster of The Outer Limits of the Cosmos virtual mission. Mankind constantly strives to see beyond the blue sky and push the boundaries of exploration. The conquest of the solar system is already underway. Now it’s your turn to send a probe to the edge of the cosmos! (CNW Group/Cosmodome)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20111128_C9590_PHOTO_EN_7293.jpg

Video with caption: “Video : Message from Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques (French only)”. Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20111128_C9590_VIDEO_EN_7294.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20111128_C9590_PHOTO_EN_7294.jpg&clientName=Cosmod%26%23244%3Bme&caption=Video%20%3A%20Message%20from%20Canadian%20astronaut%20David%20Saint%2DJacques%20%28French%20only%29&title=COSMOD%26%23212%3BME%20%2D%20Message%20from%20David%20Saint%2DJacques

Video with caption: “Video: The Outer Limits of the Cosmos virtual mission description (French only)”. Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20111128_C9590_VIDEO_EN_7311.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20111128_C9590_PHOTO_EN_7311.jpg&clientName=Cosmod%26%23244%3Bme&caption=Video%3A%20The%20Outer%20Limits%20of%20the%20Cosmos%20virtual%20mission%20description%20%28French%20only%29&title=COSMOD%26%23212%3BME%20%2D%20Virtual%20mission%20description

PDF with caption: “Fact Sheet – Cosmoclub Contest”. PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2011/11/28/20111128_C9590_DOC_EN_7332.pdf

PDF with caption: “Fact Sheet – The Transformation”. PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2011/11/28/20111128_C9590_DOC_EN_7306.pdf

PDF with caption: “Fact Sheet – The Impossible Dream Mission”. PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2011/11/28/20111128_C9590_DOC_EN_7298.pdf

PDF with caption: “Fact Sheet – The Red Planet Mission”. PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2011/11/28/20111128_C9590_DOC_EN_7299.pdf

PDF with caption: “Fact Sheet – The Outer Limits of the Cosmos Mission”. PDF available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/media/2011/11/28/20111128_C9590_DOC_EN_7300.pdf

Source: PR Newswire