For release: 04/02/02
Release #: 02-074
Air Force Academy, Citadel Mall to host NASA exhibit
NASA’s futuristic Starship 2040 experience touches down in Colorado Springs April 4-11
Members of the Colorado Springs 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 in Colorado Springs this week. NASA representatives will be available to speak to visitors about NASA's current and future activities.
Photo: Starship 2040 exhibit (NASA/MSFC)
NASA’s most technologically advanced spaceship will land this week in Colorado Springs. And no — it’s not a belated April Fool’s gag.
NASA’s Starship 2040 arrives in town Thursday for visits to the U.S. Air Force Academy, Citadel Mall and a national aerospace conference. But don’t expect a sonic boom or a window-shaking descent from the heavens. This high-tech “spacecraft” — intended to show Americans what commercial space travel might be like in just 40 short years — hitches a ride inside a 48-foot-long, Earth-bound tractor and trailer rig, after all.
Space transportation officials from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., are confident the experience will send visitors’ imaginations rocketing straight into orbit.
The Starship 2040 exhibit will be open to Academy students, faculty and the public at the Air Force Academy’s B-52 display area, accessible via the facility’s North Gate.
The exhibit is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., April 4-5. Admission is free, and visitor parking is available. Starship 2040 is handicapped accessible. The exhibit then travels to Citadel Mall April 6, where it will be open to shoppers and other visitors from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Citadel Mall is situated at 750 Citadel Dr. East in Colorado Springs.
The public stops precede Starship 2040’s appearance April 8-11 at the 18th annual National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. The annual conclave of civilian, commercial and government aerospace professionals will be held at the Broadmoor Hotel.
Starship 2040 will be open to hotel visitors, school tours and the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 8, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on April 10, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 11. The exhibit is open to Symposium attendees only April 9.
While touring Starship 2040 and talking with NASA experts staffing the exhibit, visitors will learn about technologies now being studied by NASA and its partner organizations — including the U.S. Air Force — to increase the safety and reliability of space transportation systems while dramatically lowering costs. Their goal is to make commercial space travel safe and affordable enough for routine civilian flights just a few decades from now.
Visitors board the vehicle 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.
All the innovations suggested on board, including 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 the Starship 2040 exhibit and upcoming tours, visit:
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 key 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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