This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
(Main picture and left) the planetarium’s fi lm uses data-driven visualisation and is projected at the highest resolution ever attempted; (right) a tantalising glimpse into the futuristic Welcome Gallery


aren’t from artists’ imaginations. We’re using the world’s largest super computer to create visualisations of data that scien- tists from NASA’s Aim Research Centre in California and the University of Illinois have collected from their studies. It’s the closest to being in space you can get.


Has NASA’s last shuttle fl ight had an impact?


It’s really sad that the last shuttle fl ight’s taken place and that America doesn’t have another rocket that’s capable of taking astronauts into space right now. NASA is working with the private sector to develop a variety of rockets that can take humans into space, but we’re several years away from that being a reality. But when there’s


AM 4 2011 ©cybertrek 2011


only so much money available, do you keep spending it on the old technology [the shuttle] or do you start investing in the development of new technology? At some point you have to make that decision, and we’re at that point. NASA has selected Adler to get one of the shuttle simulators from the last fl ight into space, so we’re going to be installing that in the next year.


How have you kept the building’s character while updating it?


We were very sensitive to the architecture of the original building. Adler sits at the end of a peninsular that juts out into Lake Michigan. It has the most spectacular view of the Chicago city skyline. It’s a 12-sided building with the dome on top, so is very


distinctive. A new wing we built a few years ago is a light, glass structure that wraps halfway around the building. It’s lower than the base of the dome, so it doesn’t inter- fere with the original architecture.


What are the future plans for Adler?


We’re working on how to display the space shuttle from NASA so visitors can experi- ence a simulated space fl ight mission. We’re also considering building another wing. We have a very large collection of historical astronomoical instruments, such as telescopes, sundials, and astrolights. It’s the third largest collection in the world. We only have about 10 per cent of our col- lection on display so would like a larger facility to get more out on display.


Read Attractions Management online attractionsmanagement.com/digital 27


© SCOTT MCDONALD, HEDRICH-BLESSING


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