NASA highlights past and
the Energizer bunnies of space exploration, the Mars Exploration Rovers
Spirit and Opportunity. The golf-cart sized robotic vehicles have been
roaming the Martian landscape for more than four years.
wondered what one looks like close up…not all the way on Mars? Head to
the NASA exhibit at the EAA AirVenture Museum where visitors can check
out a life-size model of the rovers. This year NASA has displays in the
museum and a traveling exhibit closer to the flightline near the
homebuilts and Exhibit Hangar E.
have turned our usual exhibit building over to another group," said
Jim Hull, NASA exhibits and artifact manager. (That building is now home
to the Affordable Flying Center.) "We have so many events and
displays to celebrate NASA’s 50th
anniversary spread across the country that we couldn’t use that space.
Also some of the vintage artifacts we have at Oshkosh this summer need
the kind of climate control the museum provides, not the occasional
extreme heat of a hangar that’s not air-conditioned."
providing AirVenture enthusiasts with a glimpse of the aerospace agency’s
past, present, and future. From the past will be gloves from the Apollo
era back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. From the future there will
be models of the next-generation space vehicles, the Ares rockets, and
Orion capsule that are being developed to return humans to the moon.
That’s in addition to displays of present-day spacesuits, space
shuttle tiles and tires, as well as aeronautics research.
The traveling display,
called Journey to Tomorrow, includes interactive computer kiosks that
feature NASA highlights. Examples include Celebrating 100 Years of
Flight, which is about NASA’s contributions to the first 100 years of
powered flight; Brain Bites, which answers common questions about air
and space travel; and a lunar landing simulator. Additional workstations
include a planetary gravity demonstrator and a solar system scale where
visitors discover how much they would weigh on each of the planets.