New Space and Tech

Avatar Theme Parks: An Opportunity for NASA?

By Keith Cowing
April 8, 2013
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Disney, Fox and James Cameron to Bring AVATAR to Life at Disney Parks

“AVATAR created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new AVATAR films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said James Cameron. “I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our AVATAR universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of AVATAR with an unprecedented sense of reality.”

Think about this: NASA and Disney have had multiple collaborations in the past. One of the most recent was with the film “Wall-e”. James Cameron is a former NASA Advisory Council member and made an astrobiology-themed theatrial release in 2005 Aliens of the Deep (with Disney) which featured young NASA astrobiologists diving in submersibles. In the 1980s EPCOT and NASA KSC worked together on a variety of closed life support system concepts. Perhaps NASA could become a partner in this Avatar theme park effort effort and provide astrobiology advisors to this new venture so as to allow visitors to understand what it would take to find Pandora (a habitable moon circling a gas giant planet that circles another star), travel to it, and then explore the alien ecosystem that thrives on such a world. By coincidence the DARPA 100 Year Starship Conference is being held in Orlando in 2 weeks. Alas, NASA PAO is downplaying NASA’s participation in this conference.

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.