Press Release

NASA’s Starship 2040 Exhibit to Visit Lakeland’s Sun N’ Fly-In April 16-19

By SpaceRef Editor
April 15, 2004
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NASA’s traveling space transportation exhibit – Starship 2040 – will conclude its 28-day Florida tour in Lakeland April 16-19, at the 30th annual Sun N’ Fun Fly-In.

The exhibit, which is handicapped accessible, will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT each day. Admission is free.

Starship 2040 gives visitors a glimpse into a very possible future – one in which humans will travel and work in space as safely, affordably and routinely as we now navigate the skies.

Visitors board the “spaceship” and move through full-sized control, passenger and engineering compartments. Audio effects – engine noises, computer and crew conversations – add to the ambience of the experience.

Boarding Starship 2040, visitors can learn about the Vision for Space Exploration, designed to extend human presence beyond low-Earth orbit in the quest to understand the origins of the universe and to learn whether life is common to other worlds or unique here on Earth.

“This exhibit helps illustrate the result of America’s new Vision for Space Exploration,” said John Dumoulin, exhibits manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “One result of returning Space Shuttles to safe flight, completing the International Space Station, going to the Moon and then on to Mars will be breakthroughs in space transportation technologies that will become as ‘ordinary’ as satellite communication or air travel is today.”

Starship 2040’s Florida tour began March 23 in Tallahassee, and continued at Panama City’s Gulf Coast Salute Air Show at Tyndall Air Force Base March 27-28. The number of people visiting the exhibit in those two cities was more than 3,000. Starship next visited Pensacola April 2-3 for the “Celebration of Science” at the University of West Florida’s annual Festival on the Green, where another 3,000 visitors toured the exhibit. The exhibit also visited Jacksonville April 5-7 and Miami 9-14.

In 2002, Starship 2040 opened to enthusiastic crowds of schoolchildren and the public at Florida’s Daytona Speedway and Tallahassee. In 2003, the exhibit completed tours of New York, Texas, Maine, Alaska, Montana and Utah, where almost 100,000 visitors immersed themselves in the sights and sounds of a commercial passenger space vehicle. Since its inaugural “voyage” in 2001, the exhibit has logged hundreds of thousands of miles and informed and excited more than a quarter-million schoolchildren, educators and members of the American public.

NASA places particular emphasis on inspiring young people – tomorrow’s space explorers – seeking to motivate children not only to dream of a future in space, but to pursue careers in math, science and engineering – the building blocks of America’s space program.

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.

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.

For more information about NASA’s Starship 2040 exhibit on the Internet, visit:

For more information about the Vision for Space Exploration visit:

For more information about NASA education programs visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.