After months of staying closed to the public due to the coronavirus, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center (USSRC) is preparing to welcome guests back to view its exhibits once again.
The center shut its doors to the patrons back on March 13 and will reopen starting Friday, May 28, for members and Saturday, May 29, for the public at large.
"This is a place where you're supposed to be able to relax and learn something and so a lot of planning has gone into how to make that work," said Katie Anderson, the director of museum operations for the USSRC.
As guests come to the center, they will now only be able to enter through the ticketing area at the Davidson Center. The entrance at the original building will be closed for now to help control the flow of people.
While in line, and entering the gift shop area, they will see circles with moon boot stickers letting them know how far apart groups should be in line to preserve social distancing guidelines.
Once inside, green arrows will help guide the flow of visitors to decrease the likelihood of people crossing paths in front of one another. Some interactive exhibits and displays that would normally bring guests closer together will also be closed during the Phase One reopening of the center.
"Really, we're hoping that the parents will keep their children with them, just so they can make sure to explain to their children what they can touch, what they can't touch," said Anderson.
The museum's newest main exhibit, Playing With Light, will be fully open to visitors. Several staff members will be around to help facilitate social distancing and clean exhibits regularly after guest use. There will also be a number of hand sanitizer stations scattered near the displays.
As for the staff, they will all be required to wear face coverings and will have their temperature checked at the start of each shift. Guests are also strongly encouraged to wear masks as well.
The other big change for the museum: crowd size.
USSRC Spokeswoman Pat Ammons said on a typical Friday or Saturday at this point in the year, they could expect to see between 1,000 to 2,000 guests each day. However, as part of their Phase One reopening, they are only allowing 250 guests on site at any given time.
To facilitate that, tickets will be sold to guests on a staggered time system.
"Before any staff come on campus, they will have a temperature check. And you can see, I'm actually wearing my orange sticker right now, which says I passed my temperature check," said Anderson.
For more information on the changes to procedures, click here.