SpaceTime Park is now closed, but the companion book is still available.
SpaceTime Park was an exact scale model of the Solar System, located in New Braunfels, TX. Our model of the Solar System was specifically designed so kids could walk through it at the speed of light. At at a scale of 250,000,000-to-one, the speed of light works out to 2.678 miles per hour (4.3 km/hr), equal to the average walking speed of most people. In reality, the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second (about 300,000 kilometers per second). That may seem fast, but it still takes a long time to go from one planet to the next. Is the speed of light really that slow, or is space really that big? It's all relative, of course.
We kept the size and distances of the planets in proper scale with each other to show people just how big the distances are compared to the size of the planets. We made it so the speed of light is equal to walking speed to demonstrate how slow the speed of light really is in the Universe. Why does this matter? Science fiction movies and school book images make the Solar System and other star systems seem more accessible than they really are. They diminish the sheer magnitude of our space exploration accomplishments. The things our space program has done within our solar system are truly astounding. Unfortunately, the stars, even the very closest ones, are still far, far beyond our reach.
It is easy and comforting to look to the past and think how far we've come. But the visionaries among us are doing it differently. They are looking forward, thinking how far we have yet to go and how much work there is yet to do—discoveries to make, technologies to invent, frontiers to explore. It was the visionaries of the past who got us where we are today. It is the visionaries of today who will take us to a whole new tomorrow too. All they need is a spark to ignite that fire and illuminate that future.
|Product dimensions:||7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.23(d)|
Table of ContentsWhat is the Cosmos
Pluto and Charon
Asteroids, Comets and other things
How do we weigh a planet
Top Ten Weird Things in the Solar System
How we Built the Sun
Comparative size of the Sun from the different planets
Why should we study the planets and stars?