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Exhibition at the Museum of Flight honors 150 years of space station dreams and realities

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The Museum of Flight in Seattle has a new exhibition called “Home Beyond Earth,” which explores the dream of living and working in space. The exhibit features a 3D-printed model of the International Space Station (ISS) that mirrors the real-time telemetry of the actual space station. Visitors can interact with touchscreens to choose their favorite space stations, living environments, and occupations in space. The exhibition also showcases the history of space stations, from fiction to reality, highlighting important milestones in space station development.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is a 3D-printed model of the ISS that captures the intricate details of the real space station. Created by engineering students from the University of Washington, the model allows visitors to see how the ISS operates in orbit. The exhibit also includes interactive displays that track visitors’ preferences for living in space, providing insight into the public’s interest in space exploration.

Retired NASA astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, who flew to the ISS in 2010, praised the exhibition for its emphasis on 3D printing in space. She noted that in the future, astronauts may be able to create and recycle their tools in space, reducing the need for supplies from Earth. The exhibition also features artifacts from past space missions, including the flight suit worn by astronaut Ed Gibson during his time on the Skylab space station.

The “Home Beyond Earth” exhibition resonated with space industry professionals, including Chris Sembroski, a former SpaceX Crew Dragon astronaut. Sembroski highlighted the importance of inspiring people to think about themselves in space and creating opportunities for all to access space. The exhibit also showcases future commercial space station concepts developed by companies like Axiom Space and Orbital Reef, hinting at a new era of space exploration.

The exhibition is open to the public and free with museum membership or general admission. Visitors can explore a range of space station models, artifacts, and interactive displays that offer a glimpse into the past, present, and future of space exploration. With a focus on education, inspiration, and accessibility, “Home Beyond Earth” invites visitors to imagine a future where living beyond Earth is not just a dream, but a reality waiting to be explored.

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