NASA is bringing the excitement of human spaceflight to the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton, April 3-17, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the International Space Station -- the world's only orbiting laboratory. Visitors will board the interactive exhibit, "Space Station Imagination," to catch a glimpse of how astronauts live and work in space.
The Space Station is a critical stepping-stone for the Vision for Space Exploration. NASA's research efforts on orbit focus on the effects of microgravity on the human body. This will help us learn how to prepare astronauts and spacecraft for long-duration missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond.
The Vision for Space Exploration includes returning the Shuttle safely to flight, completing the International Space Station, developing and testing a new exploration vehicle, and embarking on extended human missions to the Moon. NASA will return to the Moon as a first step to opening the Solar System to further exploration and demonstrating our ability to live and work on another world.
Space Station Imagination is comprised of two 48-foot trailers linked in an L-shape to form two modules of the Space Station: the Habitation Module, or living quarters, where the astronauts sleep, eat and tend to personal hygiene, and the Laboratory Module where multiple microgravity experiments are performed. Visitors do not see exact replicas of what the modules look like but rather examples of features of the Habitation and Laboratory modules.
Animatronics "astronaut" Dr. Emily greets visitors as she awakens to start her day on board this international orbiting laboratory. Displays show how a space toilet and shower work like vacuum cleaners with very little gravity, as well as how astronauts eat and sleep aboard the Space Station. A centrifuge displays how scientists might study the effects of varying levels of gravity on plants, animals and materials.
Using some actual footage from the Space Station, three video presentations, about five minutes in length, entertain and inform viewers with the story of human space exploration and the International Space Station Program. The complete tour of the exhibit takes about 20 minutes.
The Space Station Imagination exhibit will be located at the Virginia Air & Space Center, 600 Settler's Landing Rd., Hampton, Va. It will be open to the public from April 3-17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on Sundays when Space Station Imagination will open at noon. The exhibit is accessible to people with disabilities.
For more information on Space Station Imagination, visit:
For more information on NASA and its programs, visit:
- end -