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For release: 04/02/04
Release #: 04-085  

Explore the future of space travel
NASA's futuristic Starship 2040 experience to visit Jacksonville April 5-7

NASA's futuristic Starship 2040 — a space transportation exhibit that gives visitors a look at what human space flight might be like 40 years from now — will visit the Jacksonville, Fla., Museum of Science and History April 5-7. Starship 2040 also will visit Miami April 9-14 and Lakeland April 16-19.

Takea flight into the future to explore what commercial space flight might be like four decades from now. No spacesuit is required — but visitors to NASA's Starship 2040 exhibit at Jacksonville 's Museum of Science and History should bring along their imaginations for the journey.

Starship 2040 — a hands-on mockup of a futuristic space cruiseliner — will "land" at the Museum of Science and History at 1025 Museum Circle April 5 for a three-day visit. Jacksonville-area residents will experience future space travel "aboard" the traveling "spaceship," which will be open to the public April 5-7, from 2 -5 p.m. EDT each day. The exhibit is handicapped accessible and admission is free.

Starship 2040 gives visitors a glimpse into a very possible future — one in which humans 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.

Boarding Starship 2040, visitors will learn about the Vision for Space Exploration, designed to extend human presence beyond low-Earth orbit in the quest to understand the origins of the universe and to learn 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 began March 23 in Tallahassee, and continued at Panama City 's Gulf Coast Salute Air Show at Tyndall Air Force Base March 27-28. The exhibit visited Pensacola April 2-3 for the "Celebration of Science" event — which featured Starship 2040 and other NASA interactive exhibits — at the University of West Florida 's annual Festival on the Green. Starship 2040 will next visit Miami April 9-14 and Lakeland April 16-19.

In 2002, Starship 2040 opened to enthusiastic crowds of schoolchildren and the public at Florida 's Daytona Speedway and Tallahassee. 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. Since its inaugural "voyage" in 2001, the exhibit has logged hundreds of thousands of miles and informed and excited more than a quarter-million schoolchildren, educators and members of the American public.

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.

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.

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.

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:
Starship Jacksonville visit
Starship Florida state tour
Starship Pensacola visit
Starship 2040 web site

Brandon Boone
Public Affairs Office
(256) 544-0034

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