SANTA ANA, Calif., June 25, 2010 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA], Taco Bell Discovery Science Center, the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne announced today that they are developing the center's latest addition: Boeing Rocket Lab will open to the public on July 2.
Built inside the center's 8,000-square-foot "cube," Boeing Rocket Lab will feature interactive exhibits designed to educate visitors on rocket science.
"Boeing Rocket Lab is the first phase of our Space Exploration Gallery, a $6 million expansion project that will further Discovery Science Center's mission of engaging guests through interactive, hands-on exhibits," said Discovery Science Center President Joe Adams. "The cube is an icon of the center, and this amazing exhibit was the perfect choice to answer our most-asked question, 'What's inside the cube?'
"We're proud to partner with these organizations to expand visitors' understanding of science, technology, engineering and math, or 'STEM,'" Adams added.
Suspended high inside the cube is a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68 main rocket engine, the engine that powers the Boeing Delta IV family of rockets. Standing underneath the engine's nozzle in the "Blast-Off Zone" exhibit, guests will experience the sensation of a rocket launch through fog, light, sound and video effects.
A "Rocket Fuel" station will educate visitors on the chemistry of rocket fuels, why the RS-68 uses a mix of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen, and how environmentally friendly steam becomes the byproduct when the two elements combine.
"Air and Water Rocket Launch" stations will allow guests to launch rockets using compressed air or compressed air and water. Air rockets are launched by a hand pump and can soar up to 65 feet along guide cables. Air and water rockets are launched with the push of a button; launch height is determined by the ratio of air to water.
"Boeing is a long-time partner with Discovery Science Center in promoting STEM education in Southern California, and opening the Boeing Rocket Lab takes this partnership to a new level," said Rick Baily, vice president of Engineering and Mission Assurance, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "It's a one-of-a-kind, hands-on exhibit that will make learning fun as it recognizes the local heritage of Boeing and other great companies that are still making important contributions to the aerospace industry."
Taco Bell Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, Calif., is Orange County's only Smithsonian Affiliate. Some of the exhibits that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year include Dino Quest, a hurricane simulator and The Science of Hockey. For more information, visit www.discoverycube.org.
The California Cultural and Historical Endowment makes grants and loans to preserve culturally significant aspects of life during various periods of California history, including architecture, economic activities, art, recreation, and transportation; and to unique, identifiable ethnic and other communities that have added significant elements to California's culture. A priority of the endowment is to fund projects that preserve aspects of California's history that are absent or underrepresented in existing historical parks and museums.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a part of Pratt & Whitney, is a preferred provider of high-value propulsion, power, energy and innovative system solutions used in a wide variety of government and commercial applications, including the main engines for the space shuttle, Atlas and Delta launch vehicles, missile defense systems and advanced hypersonic engines. For more information, visit www.prattwhitneyrocketdyne.com.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.
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Boeing Defense, Space & Security
Discovery Science Center