The original intent of the Voyage National Program was to replicate and permanently install the Voyage exhibition on the National Mall – the Voyage Mark I Exhibition – in communities across the U.S. It was indeed replicated and permanently installed in Houston, TX, Corpus Christi, TX, and Kansas City, MO. The Mark I exhibition remains available for purchase and installation in communities across the U.S. and Canada.
Voyage Mark II Exhibition – A New Low Cost Design
Designing the exhibition for placement on the National Mall required adherence to the ‘Mall aesthetic’ defined by the 1902 McMillan Plan written by the U.S. Senate Park Commission, and enforced today by the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission. The resulting sculptural design approved by the Commissions, which incorporated unique custom elements, meant that a replica was expensive, with a cost of $250,000. After the financial crisis in 2007-2008, seven sites in the midst of fundraising, including the Iowa State Capitol Grounds in Des Moines, and Liberty State Park in New Jersey, terminated the project. The result was that only four Voyage exhibitions were ever produced and installed.
In the interim, a new low cost design was sought that maintained the basic design look-and-feel of the Mark I exhibition, but did not need to adhere to the level of sculptural aesthetics required by the McMillan Plan, and could make use of a judicious choice of materials and economies of scale. The result was the Voyage Mark II Exhibition, which preserves the full visitor experience of the Voyage Mark I and reflects the heritage of Voyage on the National Mall. But at a cost of $35,000, the Mark II is just 1/7th the cost of the Mark I. In addition, the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education will provide significant fundraising assistance, on a case-by-case basis, for communities working to install a Mark II exhibition.
The Voyage Mark II preserves the original laser-sculpted execution of the 3-dimensional worlds in solid crystal, but in a smaller off-the-shelf crystal block; preserves the high resolution full color storyboards but uses high pressure laminate panels, which are employed for outdoor use by, e.g., the National Park Service, instead of the porcelain enamel used in the Mark I; and the stanchions while more slender, are also made of anodized aluminum and retain the arched aerodynamic shape of the Mark I. A storyboard upgrade to porcelain enamel is available for the Mark I.
Click on the image above to see a comparison of the Mark I and Mark II profiles. The image below provides wheelchair accessibility for both exhibitions. Click on the image to zoom or download as a PDF.
Read about the available exhibitions, and how you can explore installation of a Voyage in your community on the following pages: