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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.

  

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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh


Volume 9, Number 1 July 27, 2008     

NASA highlights past and future

They’re 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.

Ever 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.

"We 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."

NASA is 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.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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