On June 12, NASA’s newest “space” vehicle will dock on Capitol Hill,
throw open its airlocks and invite the public to tour a passenger spacecraft
as it might look a short four decades from now.

And though “Starship 2040” isn’t designed to escape Earth’s gravity,
space transportation officials from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville, Ala., expect the experience to send visitors’ imaginations
straight into orbit.

Housed in a 48-foot (14.6-meter) trailer, the traveling exhibit is
designed to share NASA’s vision of what commercial spaceflight might be like
within the next 40 years. Visitors board the “ship” and move through a
fully realized mock-up of the control, passenger and engineering
compartments, where they’ll gain insight into technologies that eventually
will make such an out-of-this-world experience as routine as air travel.

Starship 2040 will be open to the public on the 300 block of South
Capitol Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT June 12 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June
13. The guided tour is free to everyone and the exhibit is fully
handicapped accessible.

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 partner institutions
around the nation.

Audio effects — engine noises, computer and crew voices — filter
down from hidden speakers inside the exhibit, adding to the realistic
ambience of the experience.

Starship 2040 previously visited the nation’s capital in May, as
part of NASA’s annual Turning Goals into Reality conference, and has since
made public stops at NASA’s Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Md., and
Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The exhibit next heads to
Charlotte, N.C., for a weeklong stop-over (June 16-22) at Discovery Place, a
multimedia science, nature and space museum. Future state tours are in the

For more information about the Starship 2040 exhibit and a complete
listing of upcoming tour dates, visit:


More about NASA Space Transportation Programs
NASA is the nation’s premier agency for development of Space
Transportation systems, including technologies that will enable
future-generation reusable launch vehicles. Such systems — the keys to a
real Starship 2040 — require revolutionary advances in critical aerospace
technologies, from thermal, magnetic, chemical and propellantless propulsion
systems to new energy sources such as space solar power or antimatter
propulsion. These and other advances 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 leads all these efforts, aimed at enabling
dramatic improvements in the safety, cost and reliability of future space
transportation systems.

For more information about NASA Space Transportation Systems, visit: