For release: 03/29/02
Release #: 02-071
University of Colorado hosts NASA exhibit:
NASA’s futuristic Starship 2040 experience touches down in Boulder April 2-3
Members of the Boulder community are getting a look at the future of space transportation and NASA's vision of what space flight might be like in 40 years. NASA's futuristic Starship 2040 exhibit is at the University of Colorado this week and is open to the public. NASA representatives will be available to speak to visitors about NASA's current and future activities.
Photo: Starship 2040 exhibit (NASA/MSFC)
NASA’s Starship 2040 won’t make a thunderous descent from the heavens when it arrives in Boulder next week. This high-tech “spacecraft” hitches a ride inside an Earthbound tractor and trailer rig, after all.
But officials from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., are confident the experience will send visitors’ imaginations rocketing straight into orbit when Starship 2040 visits the University of Colorado Boulder campus April 2-3.
Housed in a 48-foot-long tractor and trailer rig, the Starship 2040 exhibit is designed to share NASA’s vision of what spaceflight might be like 40 years from now. Visitors board the “spaceship” and move through full-sized control, passenger and engineering compartments. Audio effects — engine noises, computer and crew voices — add to the realistic ambience of the experience.
Starship 2040 will be parked at the University’s Engineering Center at Colorado Avenue and Regent Drive. The exhibit is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 2, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 3. Admission is free. Starship 2040 is handicapped accessible.
NASA and university officials also will host an evening presentation, “Building the Highway to Space,” April 2 at 5 p.m. in the Engineering Center auditorium, room ECCR 245. NASA speaker Bill Pannell will discuss the future of space travel now being realized by NASA and its partners in industry and academia. The lecture is free and open to the public.
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.
More about 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.
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 leader in all these efforts, aimed at enabling dramatic improvements in the safety, cost and reliability of future space transportation systems. For more information, visit:
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