For release: 04/23/02
Release #: 02-096
NASA helps 'Celebrate the Child' in Kentucky
Futuristic Starship 2040 touches down in Ohio County April 25-27
NASA's Starship 2040 won't make a thunderous descent from the heavens when it arrives in Ohio County, Ky., this week. This high-tech "spacecraft" hitches a ride inside an Earthbound tractor and trailer rig, after all.
Photo: NASA's traveling Starship 2040 exhibit (NASA/MSFC)
But officials from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., are confident the free experience -- part of Ohio County's annual "Celebrate the Child" festival -- will send visitors' imaginations rocketing straight into orbit.
Transported in a 48-foot-long tractor and trailer rig, the Starship 2040 exhibit is designed to share NASA's vision of what commercial 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 realism of the experience.
Starship 2040 will be parked near the north entrance of Ohio County High School at 103 Frederica St. in Hartford. The exhibit is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, April 25-26, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. Starship 2040 is handicapped accessible.
NASA's visit is part of Ohio County's ninth annual "Celebrate the Child" festivities, a family oriented celebration sponsored each year by Together We Care, a coalition of community leaders and the Ohio County School System. More than 3,500 visitors attended last year's celebration.
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. These changes will make 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.
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 Space Shuttle upgrades, next-generation reusable launch vehicles now being developed under the auspices of NASA's Space Launch Initiative, and advanced propulsion and transportation technologies suitable for future generations of space vehicles. Such technologies -- the keys to a real Starship 2040 -- 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: