The display features various tires and the technology behind their creation, including a space shuttle tire, a lunar rover tire replica and a NASCAR tire. The items are from NASA's Artifact Loan Opportunities Program and will be on display through Dec. 31, 2010.
According to the web site collectSPACE, although not much larger than a truck tire, just one of the orbiter's main gear tires could carry three times the load of a Boeing 747 tire or the entire starting line-up of a NASCAR race -- 40 cars, all hitting the pavement at 250 miles per hour.
NASA's operations on Earth and in space have a lot in common with the rigors of high-performance competitive driving. Both require reliability and safety under extreme conditions. Over the years NASA has provided a great deal of technology that not only helps the racing world, but also improves conditions for all drivers while helping to protect the environment
Other examples of NASA-NASCAR spinoffs include fire-resistant material for race suits and pit crews, heat-resistant paint, engine lubricants, gauges, better brakes, oil-saving seals and thermal protection systems to withstand 160 degrees or more.