Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’s glass elevator scene was nerve-wracking enough? Try riding one to outer space. A new Smithsonian exhibition will offer visitors a simulated ride beyond Earth’s atmosphere inside a video-padded lift.
On Aug. 1, the National Air and Space Museum will unveil “Above and Beyond: The Ultimate Interactive Flight Exhibition,” which will tour the world after staying in D.C. until January. Created in partnership with NASA and Boeing, the exhibition will be chock-full of immersive experiences, including VR, touch-tables and a 180-degree theater.
“In the future as we’re re-envisioning the museum, we’re putting more and more of these kinds of things in, but this is sort of taking us to a level we haven’t had,” spokesman Roger Launius told the Associated Press. “One of the things we want to do is kind of test the technologies.”
The Air and Space Museum is also exploring new crowdfunding frontiers. On Monday, it launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the conservation of the Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 spacesuit.
Conservationists are researching the best ways to protect a spacesuit — “down to the particles of lunar dust that cling to its surface,” the campaign’s statement says. With the $500,000 it is requesting, the museum also aims to make the suit displayable to the public and 3D-scan it for posterity.
Rewards include meeting an astronaut, receiving a 3D-printed replica of Armstrong’s glove, or obtaining a Smithsonian flag that has traveled to space.
The Smithsonian says it plans to launch several other Kickstarter campaigns throughout 2016.
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