LOS ANGELES - NASA's three field centers in California will be showcasing some of their current and future technologies at WIRED magazine's NextFest this weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base and Ames Research Center near Mountain View will all be presenting exhibits and displays of space exploration and science advancements to benefit mankind and our understanding of the Earth and the universe.
WIRED NextFest features the latest innovations in products and technologies in many areas where NASA plays a leading role. Nineteen NASA displays or activities will be featured in the NextFest Exploration Pavilion, ranging from cutaway models of the Ares 1 space launch rocket to Earth science visualizations. NextFest attendees can meet the crew of the most recent space shuttle flight, STS-118.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory will exhibit a 3-D panorama of Mars and demonstrate the all-terrain technology in the current Mars rovers. Visitors can learn about experimental rovers that are helping scientists learn how robots could evaluate potential outposts on the moon or Mars.
NASA's Ames and Dryden research centers will highlight NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, which incorporates a huge infrared telescope into a highly modified Boeing 747 airframe. A video camera and monitor display from SOFIA will reveal remarkable temperature changes in the infrared spectrum on the faces of visitor volunteers.
Throughout the show, attendees can see a see a four-foot model of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. The observatory is designed to study the faint light from objects at the farthest reaches of space and time and is targeted for launch in 2013.
An interactive assembly project features Constellation, NASA's next generation of human spacecraft. Many other mission-oriented NASA activities also will on display.
NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale and astronaut Scott Kelly will introduce the STS-118 space shuttle crew, including mission specialist and former educator Barbara R. Morgan, at NextFest's opening ceremonies on Education Day, Sept. 13, at 10 a.m. PDT in the South Hall Plaza. Education Day is open only to school groups and members of the media. Morgan and the other crew members of the STS-118 mission will sign autographs throughout NextFest in the Exploration Pavilion.
Dale will also participate in an announcement regarding the X PRIZE Foundation at the X PRIZE stage at 10:30 a.m. after the opening ceremonies, and will unveil the agency's 50th anniversary logo at 12:30 p.m. at the mini stage in the Exploration Pavilion. Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who with Neil Armstrong were the first humans to land on the moon, also will speak.
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For information about NextFest, visit:
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