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Spaceflight Tour

To promote the private space industry, OCP and it's partners have developed a traveling New Space exhibit. The first part of the exhibit was built in 2006 and consisted of a 27 foot simulator trailer containing two rocket powered aircraft simulators. A full sized rocket powered vehicle mock up, a working liquid fuel rocket engine demonstrator and an operational vehicle are planned to be built for future events.

The exhibit traveled to 15 different events ranging from airshows to Science Fiction conventions. Over 5000 people enjoyed the thrill of flying a rocket powered aircraft with ages ranging from eleven to over sixty and from all walks of life. Some of the notable flyers included Dick Rutan, Richard Hatch, Rick Tumlinson, and Peter Diamandis. All enjoyed the flights and were impressed with the experience.

During the tour we learned several valuable lessons 1) the majority of people have very little knowledge of what is happening in New Space or even with NASA and 2) our exhibit encourages people of all ages to learn more about science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and space.

At three of the most recent events we collected exit survey data to find out what kind of affect the OCP exhibit had on people. What we found was that over 80% of those ages 25 or under and 73% over 25 wanted to learn more about STEM after experiencing our exhibit. This is fantastic, as our exhibit was not designed as an educational tool but as a promotional vehicle. We believe that if we were to make minor changes to the presentation we could increase the percentages by 5 to 10%.

This data has encouraged us to make the changes to the exhibit that will allow us to promote STEM on our next tour. NASA effectively used space in the 1960s to excite people about technology and we believe we can do the same thing with our exhibit. We are currently looking for sponsors and education partners for our next tour.

If you want more information on the data collected in our exit surveys or on becoming a sponsor for our next tour please contact George Tyson at 321-244-2550.


Physical dimensions of the trailer:
Length: 24' (27' 7" with hitch)
Width: 8' 6"
Height: 9'
15000 watt gas generator
A 8' extendable canopy (provides shade for those who are waiting)
Two external 42" LCD HDTV displays
Two high fidelity static rocket trainer simulators
1 control console
10 laptop computer registration stations

The simulators are full size cockpits with functional instrumentation and six foot screens for out-of-cockpit views. The simulation is somewhat simplified for the average non-pilot in that there is no rudder control, trim tabs, fire suppression system or fuel dump switches. However, experts such as Dick Rutan have stated that it still accurately reproduces how a rocket powered aircraft, such as XCOR's EZ-Rocket, flies.

The control center, located in the waiting area, houses the four computers used for the simulation and trailer control. The four large LCD screens and two smaller ones allow the simulator control officer and those waiting to fly to monitor the progress of the people currently flying. It also allows the simulator control office to changed conditions of the simulation making the flight more or less challenging.

Guests were attracted to the exhibit by playing pre-recorded videos and live footage from inside on two 42" LCD screens. After registering for the OCP sweepstakes and receiving products provided by the sponsors, each guest was able to do a standard three minute flight. This allowed the guests to experience what it would be like to fly the rocket powered aircraft.

Copyright 2009 Orbital Commerce Project