Tellus unveils NASA-inspired exhibit today
by Jessica Loeding
Dec 02, 2012 | 2397 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Artificial heart pump. GPS. Thermal imaging. Super Soaker. Dustbuster. An odd mix of technology for sure, but each one benefited from NASA’s space program.

Tellus Science Museum on Saturday offered a sneak peek for a group of 15 winners from social media and museum members of its newest exhibit, “Space Spinoffs,” which focuses on the technology impacted by NASA.

Curator Julian Gray said the idea for the exhibit — created in-house by the museum — stemmed from the end of NASA’s shuttle program.

“We thought, ‘You know, our space program has done so much for our society, for technology,’” he said. “There are a lot of things that we have benefited from, and everybody here at the museum thought that would be a great idea for an exhibit.

“I think that a lot people think, ‘We pour a lot of money into the space program and what good is it? It’s just a bunch of nerds flying around in space, doing experiments for who knows what.’ But there are a number of things we get out of the space program, so we wanted to call attention to that as well.”

The roughly 900-square-foot exhibit, located inside the Science in Motion gallery, offers a look at the space technology that has been incorporated into everyday items as well as addressing some of the more common myths associated with NASA technology.

“We divided a lot of the information into different things in our lives, like transportation and environmental subjects and communications, computer technology and public safety and things like that and also myths,” Gray said. “People have misconceptions that they might have come out of the space program and they really didn’t, things like Tang.”

Listed among the most prominent of “Space Spinoffs” are the artificial heart pump, GPS technology and even memory foam. Along with Tang, Gray said teflon and velcro, while used by NASA, did not stem from the space program.

Running through April 7, the museum began work on the exhibit in July with the project taking about three months to come to fruition. “Space Spinoffs” opens to the general public today.

The Akery family was among the 15 winners from the social media promotion.

Amanda Akery said the family was motivated by her 10-year-old daughter’s love of space.

“She really likes space activities,” Akery said of her daughter, Ryleigh. “She wants a telescope and that kind of stuff so we came to see the exhibit.”

“Space Spinoffs” is not the only space-themed exhibit planned for the coming year. Gray said the museum will open a new exhibit in the second quarter of 2013 focusing on NASA’s moon missions and featuring a moon rock currently housed in Houston.

Tellus, 100 Tellus Drive in Cartersville, is open each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 770-606-5700 or visit www.tellusmuseum.org.