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State Museum Takes Guests on a Mission to Mars with New Planetarium Show

Now showing through Dec. 31st, MARS 1001, takes viewers away from planet Earth, into space, and across our solar system to our neighboring planet, Mars. The full dome show follows the fictional story of the Mars IRIS 1 mission, a daring 1001-day voyage to fly an international crew to the planet and return them safely to Earth. Many challenges will have to be met in order for the crew to succeed and unlock the secrets of the new World. Will they succeed?

Veteran space reporter and PBS NewsHour correspondent, Miles O’Brien, plays himself and offers commentary to help track the progress of this fictional journey to the red planet. Guests will hear O’Brien ‘report’ on the mission from his anchor desk as they experience the launch and landing of the Mars IRIS 1 crew across the planetarium’s 55ft digital dome.

Launch is flawless and the mission gets underway. The crew faces a few dangers along the way, including a solar coronal mass ejection that threatens their safety. Interior scenes show us how the team lives and works together, braving the dangers and anticipating the Mars landing to come. Once on Mars, we see the team work on the surface, exploring the landscape, looking for water, and retrieving rocks in a search for the history of water on Mars.

MARS 1001 is a visually beautiful show that brings the reality of Mars exploration to audiences. It’s set just far enough in the future to seem real, and tells a story we all hope to see and hear in our lifetimes: a trip to the Red Planet.

MARS 1001 is ONLY available Oct. – Dec. 2021, so make sure to experience on your next museum visit!


Health and safety precautions are in place, including managing capacities in the museum’s galleries, planetarium and 4-D theater. Per City of Columbia Emergency Ordinance, face coverings will be required for guests aged 5 and above.

Museum general admission is $8.95 for adults, $7.95 for Seniors and $6.95 for children (ages 3-12). Planetarium experiences and 4-D shows are an additional charge. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday and is closed on Monday. Due to the museum’s need to manage guest and theater capacity, online advance ticket purchase is recommended.