Lost Spacecraft – Interactives
THE LOST SPACECRAFT: LIBERTY BELL 7 RECOVERED INTERACTIVES
Millions of Americans can now be in two historic places at the same time, thanks to a new interactive traveling exhibit from Discovery Channel, “The Lost Spacecraft: Liberty Bell 7 Recovered.” The exhibit engages visitors in astronaut training, spacecraft technology and launch sequences leading to the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft’s mission and loss in 1961. It then fast-forwards to 1999 to follow the exciting events surrounding deep-sea search and recovery expert Curt Newport’s expedition, funded solely by the Discovery Channel, to find and raise the Liberty Bell 7 capsule from the Atlantic Ocean floor.
To honor the spacecraft’s first formal appearance in 39 years, “The Lost Spacecraft: Liberty Bell 7 Recovered” allows visitors to experience the sights and sounds of this dramatic story firsthand. Science center and museum-goers are encouraged to touch, move, push, operate, climb, maneuver and control Liberty Bell 7through interactive simulators. Visitors can experience the challenge and excitement of the science and technology associated with early space flight and modern deep-sea exploration. Interactive simulations include:
The Mercury Program
Capsule Simulator: Climb into the pilot’s seat and use the controls to perform a mission re-entry sequence developed from actual Liberty Bell 7 flight data in this re-creation of a capsule simulator from the Mercury Program era.
Man Rating the Machines: Choose one of six rocket launches and use a periscope to watch actual launch footage from the Mercury Program, which lasted from 1961-1963. While Mercury astronauts were training for their missions, NASA was testing the hardware. Rockets tested in this era had a 39 percent success rate. The Mercury Program, the first United States manned space program, intended to put a manned spacecraft into the earth’s orbit and to investigate a human’s ability to survive and work in space.
Capsule Control: Control the pitch, roll and yaw of a Mercury model to orient for re-entry. The Liberty Bell 7was the first to have controls that enabled the pilot to operate the capsule. Mercury Program pilots were familiar with pitch (back and forth) and roll maneuvers, but the yaw (side to side) maneuver was foreign to them.
Hunt Club: Use a joystick control to maneuver a small helicopter model and attempt to rescue a miniature version of the Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft. The splashdown recovery team, known as the Hunt Club, would fly their Sikorsky helicopters off an aircraft carrier, locate the spacecraft, lower a steel cable, attach it to the craft and carry it back to the ship. The Liberty Bell 7 is the only spacecraft the Hunt Club couldn’t rescue.
Centrifuge: Climb into a two-person pod and experience up to two G forces on this simulator for centrifuge training. A G force is the force felt upon changing direction when traveling at a high rate of speed. In the early days of NASA, astronauts were tested to determine the effects of G forces created by a spinning boom. The astronauts experienced G pressures of eight to 10 during actual flight. One G is equal to your weight, two G’s is equal to twice your weight, three G’s is equal to three times your weight and so on. Currently, nine G’s is about the most a pilot can withstand before losing consciousness.
The Recovery Expedition
The Daily Dispatches: During Newport’s expedition, he and his team dispatched daily reports over the Internet. Visitors can access dispatches from the recovery expedition via a laptop computer similar to the one used aboard the expedition ship Ocean Discovery. Today’s laptop computers offer enough power that just one could have controlled an entire Mercury mission, which in 1961 required all the computing power of Mission Control.
Curt Newport Interview: Query deep-sea search and recovery expert Newport on the quest he began in 1984 for the Liberty Bell 7. Discover why he sought the capsule, the challenges involved and the expertise and technology that enabled him to fulfill his dream.
ROV Pilot: While viewing a model of the Liberty Bell 7 on a monitor, attempt to attach a harness to a clamp via a joystick control. It simulates the task of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The ROV has robotic arms and cameras that were used to locate and attach the custom-designed clamps to the spacecraft on the ocean floor. Then, a cable and harness system was attached to the clamps to lift the capsule slowly to the surface.
Locating: Select a sonar image within a grid, then discover the identity of the object. Custom software creates a video image from the rough sonar data. Side-scanning sonar mapped a 3-mile-by-8-mile section of the ocean floor, allowing Newport’s team to approximate the location of the Liberty Bell 7.
“Liberty Bell 7 Recovered” will criss-cross the country showing in the nation’s finest science centers and museums for three years.
To learn more about the mission, expedition and the exhibit, visit us at www.discovery.com
Evergreen Exhibitions, based in San Antonio, Texas, is a world leader in providing high quality, state-of-the-art, family educational experiences, and serves as a major development partner with more than 200 leading museums and research institutions. Evergreen Exhibitions is proud to work with Fortune 500 corporations such as Ford Motor Company, Pfizer Inc, IBM, TIME and others to bring blockbuster exhibits and events to people around the globe. In addition to the “The Lost Spacecraft: Liberty Bell 7 Recovered,” current exhibits include the award-winning The Robot Zoo; Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss; Theme Park: The Art & Science of Universal’s Islands of Adventure; Microbes: Invisible Invaders … Amazing Allies; Masters of the Night … The True Story of Bats; EarthQuest … The Challenge Begins (retired); AFRICA: One Continent … Many Worlds; and Chicano Now : American Expressions.
Discovery Channel is one of the United States’ two largest cable television networks, serving 78 million households across the nation with the finest in informative entertainment. Discovery Networks, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery People, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Science Channel, Discovery Home & Leisure Channel, Discovery Civilization Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, and Discovery en Español. The unit also markets and distributes BBC America.
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Source: Evergreen Exhibitions