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NASA Looks To The Future At 2017 Super Bowl Fan Festival

NASA is on board with Super Bowl festivities here in Houston this week. Exhibits and activities are showcasing NASA’s progress on the journey to Mars, as well as a look at research aboard the International Space Station.

JSC Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa talks about NASA’s participation in the 2017 Super Bowl Fan Festival at Discovery Green.

A million people are expected to visit the 2017 Super Bowl LIVE fan festival at Discovery Green this week. Rick Campo is chairman of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee.

“I mean, yeah, there is a game. It’s played on Sunday, next week, right? We all know that. But what this is about is putting smiles on people’s faces, that it’s not just about a game — it’s about their community, and it’s about ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’.”  

One of the draws is “Future Flight” — a combined virtual reality and a drop tower experience that takes you to Mars and back.

“It’s just awesome! Looking down and sideways and up, when you have that shot off of Mars back to earth and then ultimately to NRG Stadium for the Super Bowl.”

Dr. Ellen Ochoa is the director of Johnson Space Center, which has been involved in space exploration since before the first Super Bowl. She’s been to the International Space Station four times.

“We’ve had a Houstonian in space every day of the last more than 16 years. Right now, that’s Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson, and they’re super excited about the Super Bowl as well, and their opportunity to watch from space.”  

There’s also a mock-up of the Orion space craft and the James Webb telescope — the most powerful ever built.

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