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For release: 04/01/04
Release #: 04-084  

NASA's futuristic Starship 2040 exhibit to bring Vision for Space Exploration to Pensacola festival April 2-3

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 help celebrate science at Pensacola's annual Festival on the Green on April 2-3 at the University of West Florida campus.

More than 12,000 guests are expected to attend the annual family festival that celebrates community, art, education, family and entertainment. A 2004 festival addition, "Celebration of Science," sponsored by the University of West Florida National Alumni Association, will feature Starship 2040 and other interactive NASA exhibits.

Starship 2040 will be open to the public on the University of West Florida Library Green between noon and 5 p.m. (EST) April 2, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) April 3. The exhibit is handicapped accessible and admission is free.

Starship 2040 is a hands-on mockup of a futuristic space cruiseliner that allows visitors to 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 traveling exhibit will offer festival-goers and children from area schools a glimpse into a very possible future — one in which humans will travel and work in space safely, affordably and as routinely as we now navigate the skies.

Boarding Starship 2040, visitors will learn about the Vision for Space Exploration, announced in January, designed to extend a human presence beyond low Earth orbit in the quest to understand the origins of the universe and to know whether life is 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 began March 23 in Tallahassee, and visited Panama City 's Gulf Coast Salute Air Show at Tyndall Air Force Base March 27-28. It will next visit Jacksonville April 5-7, Miami April 9-14 and Lakeland April 16-19. In 2002, Starship 2040 came to Florida 's Daytona Speedway and Tallahassee, where enthusiastic crowds of schoolchildren and the public toured the exhibit. In 2003, the 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.

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.

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:

For more information:
New flagStarship Pensacola visit
Starship Florida state tour
Starship 2040 web site

Brandon Boone
Public Affairs Office
(256) 544-0034

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