Franklin Institute announces new $8.5 million space exhibit ahead of 200th anniversary – NBC 10 Philadelphia


Prepare to immersive yourself in a new future-focused space exhibit this fall.

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia announced its new $8.5 million core exhibit, “Wondrous Space”, an immersive, awe-inspiring journey through space exploration, set to open Saturday, Nov. 4.

Wondrous Space is backed by a $3 million dollar gift from The Boeing Company and will mark the first of six new thematic exhibits that will push the boundaries of traditional science center exhibits.

These six new exhibits will replace twelve existing ones over the next several years as a part of the museum’s mission to be more future-focused and adapt to emerging scientific trends.

Don’t worry — the iconic artifacts such as the Giant Heart and Baldwin locomotive will not be removed.

The new themed exhibits will include space, the human body, earth systems, the built environment, advanced machines and robotics, and computer science.

These changes come as the museum is set to celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2024.

“The Franklin Institute is a world-renowned science museum that has been inspiring curiosity and creativity for 200 years,” President and CEO of The Franklin Institute Larry Dubinski said in a press release. “With the launch of Wondrous Space and the exhibits to follow, we are poised to enter an exciting new era of innovation and discovery and continue our mission of inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers.”

The museum not only received support from Boeing, but it also received funding to promote the exhibit from the Pennsylvania Tourism Office, housed within the Department of Community and Economic Development.

What can you expect inside the “Wondrous Space” experience?

Wondrous Space is a two-story, 7,500-square-foot exhibit located between the Fels Planetarium and the Holt & Miller Observatory.

On the first level, visitors will be transported into space and immersed in simulations and other experiences. The upper level will have guests delving into space through the lens of creativity and innovation.

Credit: The Franklin Institute

At launch, Wondrous Space will showcase various artifacts loaned from several institutions and is set to have two rovers from Carnegie Mellon University and a 10-foot-long rocket engine from Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Another key part of the exhibit is the Rover Design, an interactive station where guests can design and test their own exploratory rovers. This part of the exhibit is in partnership with AMETEK Inc., an innovative global company based in Berwyn that manufactures technologies that enable space exploration.

“It was important to us to provide a glimpse into the real-world companies and people who are driving innovation in space science, and so we were intentional in choosing partners for this project,” Chief Experience and Strategy Officer at The Franklin Institute Abby Bysshe shared in a press release. “We assembled a diverse population of dynamic, inventive minds to inform and guide Wondrous Space, and we crafted an exhibit we are all extremely proud of.”

Credit: The Franklin Institute

For more information about the Wondrous Space exhibit and how you can plan your visit click here.



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