For release: 03/18/04
Release #: 04-040
The futuristic Starship 2040 — a traveling space transportation exhibit — kicks off a 28-day Florida tour with its first stop in Tallahassee Tuesday. The exhibit gives visitors a look at human space flight as it might exist 40 years from now and contains information on the Vision for Space Exploration. Starship 2040 will also visit Panama City, Pensacola, Jacksonville, Miami and Lakeland.
NASA's futuristic Starship 2040 — a traveling space transportation exhibit that gives visitors a look at human space flight as it might exist 40 years from now — will begin a 28-day tour of the Sunshine State in Tallahassee March 23.
The traveling exhibit, which will contain information on the new Vision for Space Exploration, will visit Tallahassee March 23, then will travel to Panama City March 27-28, Pensacola April 2-3, Jacksonville April 5-7, Miami April 9-14 and Lakeland April 16-19.
Starship 2040 will be open to the public between 9 a.m. — 5 p.m. March 23 at Tallahassee Space Day at the state capitol. In Panama City stop it will be open 9 a.m. — 5 p.m. March 27-28 during the Gulf Coast Salute Air Show at Tyndall Air Force Base. The exhibit is handicapped accessible and admission is free.
Starship 2040 is a hands-on mockup of a futuristic space cruiseliner, which gives visitors a glimpse into a very possible future — one in which human beings will travel and work in space as safely, affordably and routinely as we now navigate the skies.
Visitors board the “spaceship” and move through full-sized control, passenger and engineering compartments. Audio effects — engine noises, computer and crew conversations — add to the ambience of the experience.
The Vision for Space Exploration announced in January is designed to extend human presence beyond low Earth orbit in the quest to understand the origins of the universe and to know whether life is common to other worlds or unique here on Earth.
"This exhibit ties to the Vision for Space Exploration," said John Dumoulin, exhibits manager at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville , Ala. "We want to share this exciting plan with America , and Starship 2040 is one way to do that."
Starship 2040's Florida tour is its first in 2004. In February 2002, thousands of race fans visited the exhibit at the Daytona Speedway's NASCAR Winston Cup Series; in Tallahassee , enthusiastic crowds of schoolchildren and the public toured the exhibit during a stopover in the capital. In 2003, the traveling exhibit completed tours of New York , Texas , Maine , Alaska , Montana and Utah , where almost 100,000 visitors immersed themselves in the sights and sounds of a commercial passenger space vehicle.
NASA places particular emphasis on inspiring young people — tomorrow's space explorers — seeking to motivate children not only to dream of a future in space, but to pursue careers in math, science and engineering — the building blocks of America 's space program.
More about Starship 2040
While touring Starship 2040 and talking with NASA experts staffing the exhibit, visitors will learn about technologies now being investigated by NASA and its partner organizations to increase the safety and reliability of space transportation systems while dramatically lowering costs — making space travel safe and affordable enough for routine flights just a few decades from now.
All the innovations suggested aboard the exhibit — automated vehicle health monitoring systems, high-energy propulsion drive, navigational aids and emergency and safety systems — are based on concepts and technologies now being studied at NASA centers and academic and industry partner institutions around the nation.
NASA and its partners also seek innovative materials and processes technologies, investigating ways to develop safer, stronger and more durable engines, vehicles, structures and components to handle the immense power of these futuristic propulsion systems.
The Marshall Center is a key leader in NASA technology development efforts aimed at enabling dramatic improvements in the safety, cost and reliability of future space transportation systems.
For more information about NASA's Starship 2040 exhibit on the Internet, visit:
For more information about the Vision for Space Exploration visit:
For more information about NASA education programs visit:
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