By Jim Wilson (NASA HQ) and Nicole Cloutier-Lemasters (Johnson Space Center)
Space exploration will feature prominently at Super Bowl LIVE, a nine-day fan festival running January 28 through February 5, 2017, in Houston, Texas, site of Super Bowl LI.
Exhibits and activities will showcase NASA and aerospace industry progress on the Journey to Mars, scientific research aboard the International Space Station, the agency’s next great observatory, and examples of how technology drives exploration.
NASA is collaborating with the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, which is the fan festival organizer, to share NASA’s contributions with the Houston community, where the agency’s Johnson Space Center is located, and to the nation.
At Future Flight, the primary attraction at the free fan festival, riders will take a trip to Mars and back using virtual reality goggles on a 90-foot drop tower ride. Visitors also will get a chance to see a model of NASA’s Orion spacecraft that’s used for water recovery training; a replica of the Curiosity rover currently exploring Mars; a rover-like space exploration vehicle concept that could be used for in-space missions or to explore planetary surfaces; space station exhibits; and other interactive space-related content.
Technologies and exhibits developed by several NASA industry partners also will be on display. Visitors to Future Flight can see models of engines manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne to power NASA’s powerful Space Launch System rocket, an interactive wall provided by Boeing, Lockheed Martin’s virtual reality trip over the Mars surface, Orbital ATK’s interactive launcher, and Raytheon Company’s science museum on wheels.
Northrup Grumman’s full-size replica of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, set to launch in 2018, will be on display at the intersection of Austin Street and Clay Street, Houston TX, near Future Flight.
For more about NASA’s connections to football, visit www.nasa.gov/football.