Tech Beat: Museum looks at future of space exploration
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The space shuttle program may be no more, but there are still loads of questions many wonder about outer space.
The new exhibit "Beyond Planet Earth: The Future Of Space Exploration" at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, not only asks those questions but attempts to answer them too.
"How soon will space tourism be a reality? Will humans colonize other cosmic bodies? How much do we really need to worry about asteroids?" American Museum of Natural History President Ellen Futter said.
What makes the exhibit compelling is viewers don't just get written answers, but they also see what some future innovations might look like, from how a space elevator could make traveling to the moon as easy and smooth as a cruise around the Caribbean, to what futuristic, more natural-looking space suits could looking like.
"What we're really focused on here is where we will go, what we can do, the science we're going to do there," Beyond Planet Earth curator Michael Shara said. "The exploration we're going to do in the next 50, 100, 500 years, it's based in physics. It's based in the best engineering principles we have."
Even real NASA astronauts, including one who is depicted fixing the Hubble Telescope, can't help but get excited about the possibilities when walking the exhibit.
"Our technology allows us to look at worlds around other stars and in just a few years we'll be able to tell if anyone's home how phenomenal is that to be able to answer that fundamental question, 'Are we alone in the universe?'" former NASA astronaut John Grunsfeld said.
This exhibit would not need any extra whiz-bang features to draw people in, but it has one anyway in the form of a mobile app for iOS devices that does far more than offer just a simple guided tour.
"You can hold it up in front of some cards and you will see in 3D. You will see a Mars pop out you can move around, a space station you can move around," Shara said.
To learn more about other events for students that highlight science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in your neighborhood, check out our parent company Time Warner Cable's Connect A Million Minds.