Today 'Star Wars,'
tomorrow star tours
NASA's Starship 2040 exhibit to touch down at Oakland's Chabot Center
A "Star Wars"
exhibit now on display at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland,
Calif., is sending visitors on a Hollywood-inspired flight of fancy.
Starship 2040 exhibit arrives at the science center Dec. 13, visitors
will get to see how close America's space program is to making today's
science fiction into tomorrow's reality.
Housed in a
48-foot (14.6-meter) tractor and trailer rig, the traveling exhibit
is designed to share NASA's vision of what commercial spaceflight might
be like 40 years from now. Visitors board the "ship" and move through
fully realized control, passenger and engineering compartments. Audio
effects -- engine noises, computer and crew voices -- add to the realistic
ambience of the experience.
will be open to the public Dec. 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 14-15
from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission
is free. Starship 2040
is handicapped accessible.
The visit coincides
with the "Star Wars: Art of the Starfighter" exhibit, which runs through
Jan. 6 at the Chabot Center and includes screenings of the "Star Wars"
movies and a 35-foot-long (10.6 meters) model space vehicle from "The
Phantom Menace." Some of the propulsion technologies seen in the film
-- and suggested by the "Starfighter" exhibit -- mirror technologies
now in development at NASA research facilities. Such technologies are
expected to one day power commercial vehicles similar to Starship 2040.
NASA propulsion experts will be on hand to talk about NASA's near-term
advanced propulsion goals and challenges.
2040, visitors gain insight into technologies now being studied by NASA
and its partners to increase the safety and reliability of space transportation
systems while dramatically lowering costs -- making commercial space
travel safe and affordable enough for routine civilian 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.
has been on the road since February 2001, touring high schools, universities
and a variety of public events from California to Washington, D.C. Additional
state tours and appearances are in the works throughout 2002 and beyond.
For more information
about the Chabot Center and the "Star Wars" exhibit, visit:
about the Starship 2040 exhibit and upcoming tours, visit:
NASA Space Transportation Programs
NASA is the
nation's premier agency for development of Space Transportation systems,
including future-generation reusable launch vehicles. Such systems --
the keys to a real Starship 2040 -- require revolutionary advances in
critical aerospace technologies, from thermal, magnetic, chemical and
propellantless propulsion systems to new energy sources such as space
solar power or antimatter propulsion. These and other advances are now
being studied, developed and tested at NASA field centers and partner
institutions all over the nation.
Center leads these efforts, aimed at enabling dramatic improvements
in the safety, cost and reliability of future space transportation systems.
For more information about NASA Space Transportation Systems, visit: