Press Release

NASA to Bring the Moon, Mars Experience to New Mexico

By SpaceRef Editor
October 4, 2005
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Space enthusiasts should prepare their senses to travel millions of miles across the universe when they visit NASA’s new interactive exhibit — the Vision for Space Exploration Experience — as part of X PRIZE Cup week in Alamogordo and Las Cruces, NM, Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 9.

Once inside the exhibit, visitors will experience a visual journey to the moon and Mars, discovering what it would be like to live and work on these surfaces. The 3-D imagery also projects the illusion of stepping on various surfaces of the moon and Mars and flying to Saturn’s moon, Titan.

The NASA exhibit begins its journey across southern New Mexico with a stop at the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo Oct. 6-7 for one of the largest space science education days hosted by the facility. The museum will hold a “Super Space Camp-In” Thursday for students from local and regional elementary schools. On Friday, more than 1,000 fifth-graders will take part in “Go Experience Space” at the museum. The Vision for Space Exploration Experience will join space-themed exhibits and interactive science displays from across the country aimed at teaching students about the future of space travel and commercialization.

The Vision for Space Exploration Experience then travels to the Las Cruces Airport for the X PRIZE Cup Sunday, Oct. 9. The event is hosted by the X PRIZE Foundation, which in 2004 gave away $10 million for the first private spaceflight. This year’s festivities include a look at six different spaceships currently being tested by private companies. Visitors will get a chance to see the vehicles fly, meet the pilots and experience dozens of space-related exhibits and interactive displays.

The NASA exhibit will be open to the public at the X PRIZE Cup event Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit is wheelchair accessible.

Housed in a 53-foot-long tractor and trailer rig, the Vision for Space Exploration Experience is designed to share with space enthusiasts NASA’s goals to return to the moon and travel to Mars and beyond.

Visitors who enter the Vision for Space Exploration Experience will begin their journey surrounded by stars and planets. Surfaces of the moon and mars will encompass the “space voyagers.” Holographic video screens create floating images, allowing visitors’ hand motions to “control” and create bases for human life on the planets.

Visitors then prepare for the exciting journey ahead in the Experience Dome — a 136-square-foot, three-dimensional theater. The Dome features a five-screen presentation showcasing the Vision for Space Exploration: completion of the International Space Station, now in orbit 240 miles above Earth; returning humans to the moon by 2015; and traveling to Mars and beyond in the next 20 years. The interior becomes a seamless floor-to-wall-to-ceiling window for a journey to other worldly destinations. “Explorers” see themselves in space, fully experiencing environments in other parts of our solar system — giving them the illusion of stepping on the surfaces of earth, the moon and Mars.

While taking this virtual journey and talking with experts, visitors will learn about technologies now being investigated and developed by NASA and its partners in industry, academia and other government agencies. Attendees also will learn how tomorrow’s lifestyles will change as NASA develops advancements in power, computer and medical technologies, communications, networking and robotics. In addition, visitors will see how other advanced technologies will increase the safety and reliability of space transportation systems, while also reducing costs.

For more information NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.