NASA Brings Moon, Mars Experience to Homestead-Miami Speedway
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
News Release: 05-182
The Homestead-Miami Speedway in Miami, Fla., is known for hosting cutting-edge vehicles. But when NASA's "Vision for Space Exploration Experience" traveling exhibit arrives at the raceway Nov. 18, it's sure to set a new pace – and send visitors' imaginations rocketing to the moon, Mars and beyond.
The exhibit is heading to the NASCAR Homestead Ford 400 Nov. 18-20 to share the Vision for Space Exploration: completion of the International Space Station, returning humans to the moon as early as 2018 and traveling to Mars and destinations beyond. The Ford 400 is the season finale for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, and is expected to draw more than 95,000 race fans from around the country.
The Vision for Space Exploration Experience exhibit -- housed in a 53-foot-long trailer -- is intended to inspire space enthusiasts as they embark on a simulated space journey to the farthest reaches of the solar system. From interactive holographic control panels to 3D imagery, visitors will discover what it might be like to live and work on the surfaces of the moon and Mars and to travel to Saturn's moon, Titan.
The NASA exhibit will be on display in the fan walk area of the Homestead-Miami Speedway and open to the public Friday, Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 19-20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The exhibit is wheelchair accessible.
Visitors who enter NASA's Vision for Space Exploration experience will begin their journey surrounded by stars, and then take turns “controlling" holographic images of the moon and Mars -- to explore their surfaces and learn about journeys to come.
They are then escorted into a 136-square-foot, three-dimensional theater featuring a five-screen presentation about the Vision for Space Exploration. The Dome's interior becomes a seamless, floor-to-wall-to-ceiling window for a journey to otherworldly destinations.
"Explorers" see themselves in space, experiencing environments in other parts of our solar system -- giving them the illusion of stepping on the surfaces of Earth, the moon and Mars.
NASA experts will be available at the exhibit to answer visitors' questions and discuss some of the 30,000 technologies now used on Earth as a result of NASA's 50 years of space-based research and development. Attendees will learn how tomorrow's lifestyles will change as NASA develops advancements in power, computer technologies, communications, networking and robotics. In addition, visitors will see how other advanced technologies will increase safety and reliability of space transportation systems, while also reducing costs.
NASA technology has contributed to the racing industry in numerous ways. Driving suit collars, used by NASCAR drivers to protect their neck and permit cooling, are lined with the same heavy-duty foam used in NASA's vehicle seats. Materials developed to control temperatures in space also insulate, reflect heat and provide fire protection inside racecars and in racing apparel.
As a result of these technology development efforts, professional race car drivers today enjoy greater safety and comfort as they push the edge of the envelope to take the checkered flag.
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