ExplorationWorks, in conjunction with NASA and MIT, is launching a series of programs and exhibits this week that will continue for three years.
On Thursday, Jessica Marquez of the NASA Ames Research Center will give a multimedia lecture, “NASA’s Human Space Flight: From the Earth to the Stars.” The talk, which will take place from 6 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., is the first of the ExWorks Distinguished Space Speaker Series.
Marquez will be coming to Helena after assisting the crew of the NASA NEEMO 14 underwater space station simulator the previous week. She has also done research in human-systems engineering; human space exploration; human-computer interactions; space human factors; extravehicular activities; spatial disorientation; and space human physiology.
Following Marquez’ talk, ExplorationWorks will cut the ribbon on a new NASA exhibit, “The Knowledge Station.” The permanent exhibit allows visitors to explore the solar system through a high-tech interactive computer display.
MIT professor and Capital High alumna Dava Newman and exhibit builder Gui Trotti of Trotti Studios will preside over the opening of the new exhibit.
Newman is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT and one of the world’s foremost experts on sustained human presence in low-gravity environments. She has performed NASA-funded research on a number of topics, including collaborations with the Russian Space Agency. The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts funded her research for the futuristic “second skin” BioSuit for Mars exploration.
Trotti was among the first architects to work with the space program to design living and working environments for space, moon and Mars. His design concepts now orbit Earth onboard the International Space Station.
He is also an experienced theme park designer, film set designer and space industries entrepreneur.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception — including the astronaut beverage staple Tang — will last until 8 p.m. The ribbon cutting is appropriate for all ages and families are encouraged to attend.