For release: 09/05/03
Release #: 03-151
Alaskans who missed touring NASA's Starship 2040 at the Alaska State Fair last month will get the opportunity again when the futuristic spaceliner "lands" at the Challenger Learning Center in Kenai, Alaska, Tuesday, Sept. 9, for a four-day visit. Starship is on a 28-day Alaska tour that continues through Sept. 18.Photo: Starship 2040, NASA's traveling space transportation exhibit, is a mockup of a futuristic spaceliner that travels inside a 48-foot tractor and trailer rig. (NASA/MSFC)
Alaskans who missed touring NASA's Starship 2040 at the Alaska State Fair last month will get the opportunity again when the futuristic spaceliner "lands" at the Challenger Learning Center in Kenai, Alaska, Tuesday, Sept. 9, for a four-day visit.
Starship 2040 is NASA's vision of what commercial spaceflight might be like four decades from now. A mockup of a futuristic spaceliner, Starship 2040 travels inside a 48-foot tractor and trailer rig. The exhibit shows a possible, practical result of NASA's goal to extend the duration and boundaries of human space flight that will open new opportunities for exploration and discovery.
More than 20,000 visitors toured the traveling exhibit Aug. 22-29 at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer — the first stop on a 28-day Alaska tour that continues through Sept. 18.
The exhibit, managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., is bringing the message to Alaska students that a strong understanding of science, technology, mathematics, and engineering is needed by those who want to be part of space exploration.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the positive effect NASA's Starship 2040 exhibit will have on Alaska's students," said Sharon Gherman, director of the Challenger Center in Kenai. "We hope the Starship programs will inspire students and help them make the connection between space technology today and what the future holds for them. "
Starship 2040 visitors board the "spaceship" and walk through control, passenger, and engineering compartments, while audio effects — engine noises, computer and crew voices — add to the realism of the experience.
There is no charge for admission to Starship 2040. The exhibit is handicapped accessible.
NASA seeks to inspire school-aged young people - tomorrow's space explorers - by encouraging them to pursue careers in math, science, technology and engineering, the building blocks of America's space program. Through Starship 2040 and other educational exhibits, NASA seeks to motivate children to dream of a future in space and to inform and excite visitors of all ages about future space travel technologies and present-day space research and development.
Starship 2040 began its Alaska tour with an eight-day stop at the Alaska State Fair before "landing" at Matanuska-Susitna College in Palmer for a three-day stop, Sept. 3-5. After the Challenger Learning Center visit, on Sept. 9-12, Starship will conclude its state tour with a four-day stop at the Children's Imaginarium in Anchorage.
The Challenger Learning Center of Alaska is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating children in science, math, teamwork and communication. Opened in April 2000, it is part of a worldwide network of 50 such centers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Created in the wake of the 1986 Challenger disaster, Challenger Learning Center goals are inspiring children and young adults to stay in school and study science, math, engineering, and technology. Using space as a medium, young people span the academic areas as well as learn valuable skills in problem solving, communication and teamwork.
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