NASA showcases space exploration at Super Bowl fan festival

NASA is collaborating with the Houston Super Bowl Committee, organiser of the Super Bowl Live fan festival, to showcase the space agency's contributions via an immersive experience.

NASA: showcasing space experiences at Super Bowl Live
NASA: showcasing space experiences at Super Bowl Live

NASA's Johnson Space Center is located in Houston and over the nine days of the fan festival, which kicked off on 28 January, exhibits and activities are showcasing NASA and aerospace industry progress. These include elements such as the Journey to Mars, NASA's programme that aims to send humans to Mars in the 2030s, while scientific research aboard the International Space Station, the agency’s next great observatory, and examples of how technology drives exploration, will also be under the spotlight. 

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 is 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 also experience 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 near Future Flight. Super Bowl Live, which runs until 5 February, is located at Discovery Green park. 

A spokesperson for NASA said: "NASA is involved in Super Bowl activities as part of its community involvement throughout the Houston area. NASA and the aerospace industry are an essential part of Houston’s identity. A major event such as a Super Bowl, and all its accompanying activities, benefits the entire Houston community."

Budweiser is taking over Shoreditch street food provider Dinerama with a party celebrating all things Super Bowl, while Pepsico is staging an art-themed party for the event as part of its ongoing partnership with the NFL. 

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