September 30, 1999
John Ira Petty
Johnson Space Center, TX
Benefits from Space on Display in NASA Semitrailer
Americans will get a closer look at the benefits they receive from the U.S. space program through a new semitrailer exhibit focusing on technology transfer.
Technology from the space program touches all our lives each day. Examples include things now taken for granted – things like common home smoke detectors and cordless tools. More recent technologies just now coming into wider use include a miniature, implantable heart assist device based on space shuttle fuel pumps and protective clothing for a variety of applications based on space suit technology.
The semitrailer, owned and operated by NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is designed to visit special events throughout the country. Schedule permitting, it also will stop at malls, universities and schools, said Sandy Griffin of Johnson Space Center’s Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office, who is responsible for scheduling the visits.
This exhibit will show the American people the impact of space-related technology in their daily lives, said Henry L. Davis, Johnson Space Center’s director of technology transfer and commercialization. It also shows the tremendous potential for even greater future benefits for the public from space, he added.
The semitrailer is 53 feet long. The sides expand to increase its width from 8.5 feet to about 16 feet. It is divided into two sections. Each can accommodate 30 people.
The first section, the Technology Hall of Fame, features exhibits on a dozen space program spinoffs. After seeing the exhibits, visitors walk into the Surround-Sound Theater, where a 10-minute video on the benefits of the space program is shown.
Griffin said the vehicle will visit about six events per month. It will be on the road about 240 days a year.
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