A new exhibit steeped in the cinematic world of "The Avengers" offers a super-powered dose of science and technology from NASA. The unique, interactive educational display premiered at Discovery Times Square in New York City on May 30, for a six-month engagement.
Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. — an acronym for Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network — is an immersive experience in which visitors explore the fictional superhero universe. The exhibit allows fans to participate in a simulated recruitment as if they were training as agents of the secret agency, S.H.I.E.L.D.
Above: Artist's concept for an interactive exhibit featuring NASA's Eyes on Exoplanets as part of Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibit, opened in May 2014. Image: Victory Hill Entertainment Group
While movie magic is the exhibit's main attraction, its developers approached NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, to provide content that would enhance the authenticity of the experience and pique visitors' interest in real-world science and technology.
The exhibit's NASA-supplied material -- written content, images and videos — focuses on topics such as the electromagnetic spectrum, black holes as powerful energy sources, and aerospace materials used in creating Iron Man's armor. Deeper connections to NASA content are planned for the exhibit's online companion website.
NASA's Eyes on Exoplanets interactive is featured prominently in the S.T.A.T.I.O.N. exhibit, helping to place otherworldly content related to The Avengers' Thor into the context of real exoplanets — planets beyond our solar system — that NASA is studying.
"The thrill of exploring other worlds is not limited to the silver screen, and we're pleased to help bring some real NASA excitement to the project," said Bert Ulrich, liaison for film and TV collaborations, NASA Headquarters, Washington. "We especially hope that young visitors will come away from this exhibit with an increased interest in science and technology."