Circuit of The Americas (COTA) announced earlier this week they're hosting NASA for an exhibit at the 2023 Formula 1 Lenovo United State Grand Prix, taking place today through Sunday the 22nd in Austin, Texas.
NASA's presence this race weekend will shine a light on Texas' storied history in space exploration, all while marking the public debut of the cutting-edge Artemis Crew Transport Vehicle, manufactured by Canoo.
Texas' connection with the cosmos runs deep, with the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, established in 1961, only three years after the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 was signed into law. Since then, the Space Center has maintained its status as a central operational hub for space exploration, playing a pivotal role in missions such as the historic Apollo project, which encompassed the original Moon-landing missions.
Other than getting to see the Crew Transport Vehicles, visitors will also have the opportunity to engage with unique and informative exhibits that take them on a journey through NASA's space endeavors. Among the highlights is a 1:25 scale model of the Space Launch System (SLS), NASA's colossal super heavy-lift rocket, a vital component of the Artemis program. Attendees can also step into the shoes of astronauts with Artemis II astronaut cutouts and capture memorable moments with NASA Worm and Meatball photo-ops. NASA's presence will also include subject matter experts, including two of the Artemis astronauts on Sunday and NASA leadership, who will be on hand to answer fans questions. Personally, we'd be inclined to spend all our time asking about the CTVs...
Josh Seitman, Senior Director of Commercial Partnerships at Circuit of The Americas, expressed the organization's enthusiasm about this partnership:
"As two organizations with a presence felt around the world, but with a base right here in Texas, The Circuit is very excited to have NASA on campus at this year's USGP. We're lucky to host the public debut of the new Artemis crew transportation vehicle, and the staff at NASA have gone above and beyond to provide the very best exhibit. The ingenuity, integrity, and tenacity of the space agency, as well as their dedication to education, is exactly what we want fans to experience at COTA."
This collaboration between COTA and NASA marks an extraordinary convergence of motorsport and space exploration, celebrating the Lone Star State's role in shaping the future of human spaceflight. Visitors to the 2023 Formula 1 Lenovo United States Grand Prix can look forward to a weekend of thrilling races, exceptional educational experiences, and a unique opportunity to experience the future of advanced mobility by seeing the Crew Transport Vehicle up front and in person.
Last month, NASA ran a dry run or "Launch Demonstration Test" of the ride over to the launch pad. You can watch the ride over and get a feel for the real Launch Day activities in the video below:
Thanks to Blake Devine for capturing photos of the exhibit.