NASA will bring outer space into Kenai this week as its traveling space transportation exhibit, Starship 2040, visits the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska. The space organization's associate administrator of education, Dr. Adena Loston, also will visit the Kenai Peninsula, speaking to several community groups.
Starship 2040, a mock-up of a futuristic space liner, is housed inside a 48-foot tractor trailer rig and designed to give visitors a look at NASA's vision of how human space flight might look 40 years in the future.
Visitors to the exhibit will be able to walk through the control, passenger and engineer compartments, with audio effects, engine noises and computer and crew voices adding realism.
NASA's goal with the exhibit is to inspire young people to gain a strong understanding of science, mathematics and engineering.
School groups will be invited to tour the exhibit at the Challenger Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
The exhibit also will be open to the public from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday and 3 to 5 p.m. Friday.
In conjunction with the exhibit, Loston will be on the peninsula to discuss NASA education programs with community and education leaders in the area.
She will be the featured speaker at the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon meeting at noon Tuesday at the Riverside House.
On Wednesday, she will attend the Kenai Chamber of Commerce meeting at noon at Paradisos.
She also will participate in KSRM-FM radio's show, "Life on the Kenai Live," where she and a panel of education experts will discuss the future vision of education.
At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Loston will speak at the Seward Education Alliance with Jackie Marshall, coordinator for the Kenai Peninsula College Resurrection Bay extension site.
On Thursday, from 7 a.m. to noon, Loston will tour Razdolna and McNeil Canyon elementary schools with school district representatives, then speak at the Homer Rotary Club meeting at noon at the Best Western Bidarka Inn.
Thursday afternoon, she will visit Homer High School at 1:30 p.m. and the Kenai Peninsula College Kachemak Bay Campus from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m. From 6 to 7 p.m., she will speak in the student commons at KPC in Soldotna.
The engagements are open to the public.
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