Voyage Mark II


NOTE: This is a sub-page of the Available Exhibitions page, which you should read first.


Mark II Earth Stanchion, all design and content © 2019 National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

Mark II Earth Stanchion, © 2019 NCESSE. Click on the image to zoom

Voyage Mark II Exhibition – Available 2018

Voyage Mark II is a low cost 1 to 10-billion scale model of the Solar System for permanent outdoor installation in communities across the Unites States and Canada. The exhibition leverages the extensive heritage of the Voyage Mark I scale model Solar System permanently installed on the National Mall in Washington, DC, between the U.S. Capitol and Washington Monument, and permanently installed in Houston, TX, Corpus Christi, TX, and Kansas City, MO.


Key Objectives

  • provide exhibition visitors a conceptual understanding of Earth’s place in space, and the nature of worlds across our Solar System, through use of high precision models, text, imagery, and activities promoting inquiry-based exploration
  • extend and enhance existing informal science and STEM education experiences to outdoor spaces
  • foster a community engagement model for STEM education, with the means to engage: students in grades K-16; educators across grades K-12; families; and the general public
  • foster experiences and programming that are strategic, addressing a community’s educational goals in STEM education; systemic, addressing the curriculum across local school districts; and sustainable, providing content and resources on an ongoing basis
  • create a network of Voyage Communities, and foster inter-community exchange of ideas for educational programming


Appropriate Sites

Voyage is well suited for extended outdoor spaces, parks, college campuses, and downtown walkways. See artists concepts of the Voyage Mark II installed at various sites in the slider above.


  • offers an added experience for family and general public visitors to a park or an extended outdoor space near, e.g., a museum or science center, and provides a greater context for an understanding of the natural world, planet Earth, and the sky above
  • establishes a college or university as a local STEM education destination site
  • provides an experiential thread along a downtown sidewalk, with opportunities for local businesses to leverage the experience with co-branded products and services


Mark II Mars Storyboard, all design and content © 2019 National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

Mars Storyboard for Voyage Mark II, © 2019 NCESSE. Click on the image to zoom

Baseline Mark II Exhibition Specifications and Supplemental Educational Materials
Differences between the Mark I and Mark II exhibitions are addressed in the purple text below.

  • a model of the Solar System at one ten-billionth actual size, comprised of 13 stanchions spanning a reasonably linear 2,000 ft (600 meter) walking path; note that Voyage is only available at the 1 to 10-billion scale due to the embraced pedagogy for the visitorship experience – this scale cannot be modified to suit a specific site
  • the diameters of the Sun, planets, and moons, and the distances between them, are all represented on the same 1 to 10-billion scale
  • 13 anodized aluminum stanchions for: the Sun; 8 planets; Pluto; comets/asteroids; and two entry stanchions on opposite sides of the exhibition
  • a gold anodized model Sun with surface texture
  • 8 planets, the dwarf planet Pluto, and 10 moons laser-sculpted in 3 dimensions inside solid crystal block, with true oblateness, spin axial tilt, and visible cloud features on Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune (read about Voyage’s accuracy). The Mark II exhibition includes the following moons: Earth’s Moon; Jupiter’s Io and Europa; Saturn’s Tethys, Dione, and Rhea; Uranus’ Ariel and Umbriel; Neptune’s Triton; and Pluto’s Charon.
    Note: the Mark I exhibition contains an additional 5 moons due to the larger crystal.
  • full color, high resolution storyboards using high pressure laminate panels for outdoor use (see, e.g., that provide imagery and compelling content, and include a Site Map providing visitor location within the model Solar System
    Note: the Mark II exhibition storyboards can be upgraded to porcelain enamel, which is the material of choice for the Mark I exhibition – see Available Exhibition Upgrades below.
    Note: the Mark II storyboards include a site-independent Site Map (click on the storyboard image above). The Mark II storyboards do not include the average number of steps to adjacent stanchions, or acknowledgment of local partners. The Mark II exhibition storyboards can be upgraded to include a Custom Site Map with local landmarks (see the Custom Site Map for Corpus Christi, TX), and the average number of steps to adjacent stanchions (see the Mark I Jupiter Storyboard). See Available Exhibition Upgrades, Upgrade Package A – Customization, below. Note that the Customization Package does not include acknowledgment of local partners on the storyboards, but does in the tour brochure.
  • the names of the Sun, 8 planets, and dwarf planet Pluto at the top of their respective stanchions in vinyl lettering
  • a color master print file for a tour brochure – the Outdoor Exploration Guide – promoting self-guided, inquiry-based exploration of the Solar System
    Note: the Mark II exhibition includes a site-independent Guide, which can be upgraded to a customized Guide as is provided with a Mark I exhibition. A customized Guide includes a description of the community, a Custom Site Map with local landmarks, and acknowledgment of local partners (e.g., see the customized Outdoor Exploration Guide for Voyage in Kansas City). See Available Exhibition Upgrades, Upgrade Package A – Customization, below.
  • a grade K-12 curriculum package, with lessons supporting pre-and post-visit activities, and relevant to curricular strands addressing Solar System content and exploration
  • potential for supplemental programming, including: professional development for teachers, family and public programs, and researcher visits to classrooms across a community



  • baseline cost: $29,500, which includes exhibition fabrication and crating; step-by-step procedures that address, e.g., identifying a viable site for the exhibition in your community, how to determine precise stanchion locations, and installation instructions; ongoing support from initial interest through installation; access to the grade K-12 curriculum package of lessons; and a color master for the Outdoor Exploration Guide (not customized to site)
  • shipping: shipping to the community is a separate cost borne by the community
  • installation: stanchions are embedded in poured concrete footings; installation is a separate cost borne by the community
  • insuranceif the community feels insurance coverage of the exhibition is warranted, it is a separate cost borne by the community
  • supplemental programmingsupplemental programming is available through Journey through the Universe, another initiative of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, but is an added cost to the community. Journey through the Universe can provide some combination of: i) public and family programs as an exhibition opening event; ii) a national team of Earth and space science researchers visiting the community for a few days, and visiting potentially thousands of students one classrooms at a time; and iii) professional development for teachers on the Voyage grade K-12 curriculum package

Voyage Mark II exhibition production cannot begin until at least 10 communities are under contract, which is a key element to keeping the exhibition cost low. Each production run is to be designated a Mark II Generation. We envision multiple Mark II Generations to support interest in the United States alone.

Requesting a Mark II exhibition outside of a production run: we expect that there may be a situation where a community would like a Mark II exhibition rapidly, and cannot wait for potentially nine other communities to come aboard for us to launch a production run. While we have the capacity to produce a ‘one-off’ exhibition by interrupting the production queue at Exhibitology, which requires set up then breakdown of significant tooling for just a single Mark II, the baseline cost is estimated to be $59,000 – which provides a sense of the significant cost reduction afforded by production economies of scale.


Generation 1 Announcement of Opportunity – April, 2019

The announcement of opportunity for the first production run for the Voyage Mark II – designated Generation 1 – is to be announced in April 2019. We hope that we can lock in at least 10 communities reasonably quickly for production to begin by Summer 2019. This could allow shipping to communities for a mid- to late Fall 2019 installation. 


Fundraising Assistance

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education may be able to provide significant fundraising assistance, on a case-by-case basis, for communities working to secure the $29,500 baseline cost.


Available Exhibition Upgrades – Pricing on Request

  • Upgrade Package A – Customization: a customization package with the following upgrades: i) a Custom Site Map on each stanchion storyboard that includes local landmarks and way-finding information; ii) the number of steps to adjacent stanchions provided on the storyboards, and iii) a color master print file for a customized Outdoor Exploration Guide with a description of the community, a Custom Site Map, and acknowledgment of local partners.
  • Upgrade Package B – Storyboard Upgrade: porcelain enamel storyboards, which is the material of choice for the Mark I exhibition on the National Mall. Note – this upgrade will more than double the cost of the Mark II exhibition.



  • site: reasonably linear 2,000 ft (600 meter) walking path
  • Implementation Plan: submission of an Implementation Plan by a community’s lead institution demonstrating how the exhibition and educational materials would be put to work to address the Key Objectives listed above
  • site availability: a Letter of Site Authorization is required, which is signed by the institution with both legal authority over the site, and authority to approve permanent installation of the exhibition on the site


How to Explore A Voyage Mark II Exhibition for Your Community

For more information on the Voyage Mark II design, community requirements, installation, cost and how to apply to become a Voyage Community, contact Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Voyage National Program Director, and Center Director, National Center for Earth and Space Science Education, 301-395-0770,


Mark II Operations

Hosted & Managed by: Drew Roman

Design by: Drew Roman & WooThemes