NASA’s Starship 2040 won’t make a thunderous descent from the heavens when
it arrives in Boulder next week. This high-tech “spacecraft” hitches a ride
inside an Earthbound tractor and trailer rig, after all.

But officials from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.,
are confident the experience will send visitors’ imaginations rocketing
straight into orbit when Starship 2040 visits the University of Colorado
Boulder campus April 2-3.

Housed in a 48-foot-long tractor and trailer rig, the Starship 2040 exhibit
is designed to share NASA’s vision of what spaceflight might be like 40
years from now. Visitors board the “spaceship” and move through full-sized
control, passenger and engineering compartments. Audio effects — engine
noises, computer and crew voices — add to the realistic ambience of the

Starship 2040 will be parked at the University’s Engineering Center at
Colorado Avenue and Regent Drive. The exhibit is open to the public from 8
a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 2, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 3. Admission
is free. Starship 2040 is handicapped accessible.

NASA and university officials also will host an evening presentation,
“Building the Highway to Space,” April 2 at 5 p.m. in the Engineering Center
auditorium, room ECCR 245. NASA speaker Bill Pannell will discuss the
future of space travel now being realized by NASA and its partners in
industry and academia. The lecture is free and open to the public.

More about Starship 2040

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.

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.

More about NASA Space Transportation Programs

NASA is the nation’s premier agency for development of Space Transportation
systems, including 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 is a leader in all these efforts, aimed at enabling
dramatic improvements in the safety, cost and reliability of future space
transportation systems.

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