New science museum opens Saturday in downtown Tucson

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Mars and asteroids are about to light up downtown Tucson.

A new museum featuring the best of U of A science will open its doors this Saturday.

Drive by and you may not notice, but something special is about to blast off in the heart of Tucson.

"We came up with a plan and a theme and that's what you see here, Mars and Beyond," said Bill Plant from UA Science and Flandrau.

Mars and Beyond is the first exhibit in the brand new museum, Science Downtown.

 "It's been a really amazing process," said Plant.

Walk inside and you'll see firsthand The result of a remarkable team effort by U of A science, Don Martin and several other partners.

"There's a degree of hometown pride that we have with all of the involvement we've had with space sciences that people want to share in those experiences," said Plant.

The hope is Mars and Beyond and everything it has to offer will become a daily draw for visitors looking for fun downtown.

"This will bring another, we think, 10,000 people a month downtown. To come down see a show, eat, drink and enjoy themselves," said Science Downtown Chairman Don Martin.

There's plenty to catch people's eyes and minds. Stunning lighting, interactive games, detailed videos and a real life display of the Mars rover that made it to the mysterious planet are just a sampling of what's inside.

"To be able to come downtown and party and also learn something, it doesn't get any better than that," said Martin.

It actually does get better. If you have questions, they have answers.  And hundreds of tiny factoids about anything and everything space related that shows off the impact the University of Arizona has had on space exploration.  And it's just the beginning of more exhibits to come.

"We'll be putting our heads together to come up with a compelling idea for what's next," said Plant.

Science Downtown officially opens its doors to the public Saturday, October 22.