As Houston gears up for Super Bowl LI, space exploration will be featured prominently at a nine-day festival leading up to the event. Houston is hosting this festival, dubbed Super Bowl LIVE, which will run from January 28 to February 5.
NASA is collaborating with the event organizers to showcase exhibits and activities that feature progress being made on the NASA Journey To Mars, scientific experiments being conducted on the International Space Station (which, incidentally, is almost as long as a football field), upcoming projects and endeavors in progress like the James Webb Space Telescope, and examples of ways that technological advances drive human progress.
The Houston Super Bowl Host Committee has dubbed the collection of aerospace-themed exhibits “Future Flight.” The free fan festival hosted by the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee will include attractions like a ride which features a simulated trip to Mars using virtual reality goggles and a 90-foot-drop tower ride. Other attractions include the Orion spacecraft being used for water recovery simulations and a replica of the Curiosity rover, which is currently exploring Mars. Visitors can view a full-sized mock-up of the James Webb Telescope provided by Northrop-Grumman, Orbital ATK’s interactive launcher, Lockheed-Martin’s virtual reality tour of the Martian surface, and replicas of the powerful rocket engines that Aerojet Rocketdyne is manufacturing to power the Space Launch System. This is just a few of several interactive exhibits sponsored by NASA and its major aerospace contractors that can be found at the event.
If you are going to be in Houston for the Super Bowl, head down to Super Bowl LIVE for some extra fun and don’t forget to check out Space Center Houston to arrange a visit to the nearby Johnson Space Center.