PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The work of astronauts comes to life in a new, permanent exhibit at Carnegie Science Center.

“Space Place” features full-size replicas of the International Space Station.

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Astronaut Mike Fincke was on hand for the Friday opening. The Emsworth native has spent more time in space than anyone else.

“I spent a lot of time at the Buhl Planetarium, the Carnegie Museums, Natural Science and the rest of them in Oakland,” Fincke says. “And we didn’t have the Carnegie Science Center then, but it inspired me. I wanted to go work for NASA. I wanted to be an astronaut.”

At the exhibit, he entered a full-size model of space station quarters where he lived in weightlessness for a year.

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“You zip yourself up in a sleeping bag and just kind of hang there,” he says, gesturing to a small bed. “It’s tough because you don’t have a pillow.”

Exhibits director Dennis Bateman says kids like “climbing” the side of a two-story space station module, simulating weightlessness.

“In zero gravity there’s no resistance,” he says. “You’ll find out why it takes so long on a spacewalk to replace a screw or change a hose.”

As for the question kids ask most often: “There are some things like the space toilet. It uses suction power instead of water to flush the toilet.”

Space Place Exhibit on Pittsburgh Today Live:

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