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NASA to Bring the Moon, Mars Experience to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Aug. 5-7
Kim Newton
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

News release: 05-132

Experience a journey to the Moon, Mars and beyond when NASA brings its new interactive exhibit -- the Vision for Space Exploration Trailer -- to the NASCAR Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana, Aug. 5-7.

The Vision for Space Exploration Trailer is intended to put visitors' imaginations on the fast track to the farthest reaches of the Solar System, and inspire space enthusiasts as they embark on a simulated journey into space.

Housed in a 53-foot-long tractor and trailer rig, the exhibit is designed to share with visitors NASA's exploration goal, which is to return to the Moon and travel to Mars and beyond.

The Vision for Space Exploration Trailer will be located in the Brickyard Plaza and open to the public during NASCAR hours, Aug. 5 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Aug. 6-7, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The exhibit is handicapped accessible.

The Allstate 400 is fast becoming one of NASCAR's most popular races. Since its inaugural race in 1994, the 400 has been held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race draws tens of thousands of race fans from across the country to the Speedway each year.

While taking the exhibit "journey" and talking with experts, visitors will learn about technologies now being investigated and developed by NASA and its partners in industry, academia and other government agencies. Attendees also will learn how tomorrow's lifestyles will change as NASA develops advancements in power, computer and medical technologies, communications, networking and robotics. In addition, visitors will see how other advanced technologies will increase the safety and reliability of space transportation systems, while also reducing costs.

Visitors who enter the Vision for Space Exploration Trailer will begin their journey surrounded by stars and planets. Surfaces of the Moon and Mars will encompass the space voyagers. Holographic video screens create floating images, allowing visitors' hand motions to control and explore the planet surfaces.

Visitors then prepare for the exciting journey ahead in the Experience Dome -- a 136-square-foot hexagon-shaped, three-dimensional theater featuring a five-screen presentation on the Vision for Space Exploration. The Dome's interior becomes a seamless floor-to-wall-to-ceiling window for a journey to other-worldly destinations. Explorers see themselves in space to fully experience environments in other parts of our Solar System -- giving travelers the illusion of stepping on the surfaces of Earth, the Moon and Mars.