Virginia Air & Space Center

While not a fan of air and space museums, this I enjoyed. There were many interesting exhibits with the Wright Brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen,

plane art,

and honors to the NASA women.

With the price of admission an IMAX movie is included. There were 3 movies available for all ages to enjoy.

Space missions exhibits were well represented with rockets and missiles:

  • Project Mercury 1958-1963 six manned flights
  • Gemini Program 1962-1966 ten crewed missions
  • Apollo Program 1963-1972 eleven flights with first moon landing

Then there was Mars…

Under development.. looks like fun.

What a fascinating exhibit. NASA has been mapping Mars for several decades as they attempt to locate a landing area. While Mars appears to be dead geologically it was active 1.8 billion years ago with the largest volcanoes in the solar system. From this came the many deep valleys and canyons on the planet.

For humans to live on Mars much will be required. One need is a place to live, and this is currently under development at Langley AFB.

Over 1000 companies globally are involved in the creation of space related products.

The structures will be made of fabric and placed inside the space ship deflated. Upon arrival on the planet they will be inflated. The soft fabric hardens once inflated.

The structure is similar to home construction with 3 layers. The middle layer is foam which insulates the pod.

Much testing is underway to ensure the strength and durability of pod fabric. Completion is planned for 2020.

Artist rendering of the astronaut home

Other Earth Breakthrough Technologies

Besides working on outer space projects NASA is looking to the future of our globe. Much work is being done on alternate forms of energy for vehicles both on land and in the air. These are NASA’s priorities:

  • developing alternate fuels which decrease emissions
  • changing plane shape for improved aerodynamics
  • creating motors to accommodate alternate fuel
  • creating quieter planes

Developing new technologies is challenging. Building on hybrid car technology NASA is looking to these implementations for planes. Another possible solution is a gas driven engine to power the plane off the ground then switch to battery once in flight. Work is underway for new battery development.

These are only a few items mentioned in the video at this exhibit. Stop by and see the entire segment. It is our future.

On a lighter note…

Stop by this exhibit on the upper floor to get a laugh.

And view from the museum’s top level the Hampton marina.

Let’s conclude with a spectacular sun shot.