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 © 2016 National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

Mark II Earth Stanchion, © 2016 NCESSE

Voyage Mark II Exhibition – Available early 2016

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.


Appropriate Sites

Voyage is well suited for parks, college campuses, and downtown walkways. Voyage

  • offers an added experience for family and general public visitors to a park or an extended outdoor space, and provides a greater context for the natural world, planet Earth, and the sky
  • 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


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 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


Mark II Mars Storyboard, all design and content © 2016 National Center for Earth and Space Science Education

Mars Storyboard for Voyage Mark II, © 2016 NCESSE

Baseline Exhibition Specifications and Supplemental Educational Materials

  • a model of the Solar System at one ten-billionth actual size, comprised of 13 stanchions spanning a reasonably linear 2,000 ft walking path
  • the diameters of the Sun, planets, and moons, and the distances between them, depicted on the same 1 to 10-billion scale (this scale cannot be modified to suit a specific site)
  • 13 anodized aluminum stanchions for: the Sun; 8 planets; Pluto; comets/asteroids; and two entry stanchions on opposite sides of the exhibition
  • 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. 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 at right), which can be upgraded to a customized site map like that provided with a Mark I exhibition – see Available Exhibition Upgrades below. 
  • a color master print file for a tour brochure promoting self-guided, inquiry-based exploration of the Solar System
    Note: the Mark II exhibition includes a site-independent tour brochure, which can be upgraded to a customized tour brochure like that provided with a Mark I exhibition – see Available Exhibition Upgrades 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; a document library addressing optimum siting, stanchion placement, and installation; ongoing support from initial interest through installation; access to the grade K-12 curriculum package of lessons; and a color master tour brochure (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
  • 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 have put in an order, 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 whee a community would like a Mark II exhibition rapidly, and cannot wait for at least 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 general 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 $50,000 – which provides a sense of the significant cost reduction afforded by production economies of scale.


Generation 1 Announcement of Opportunity – Expected October, 2018

The announcement of opportunity for the first production run for Voyage Mark II – designated Generation 1 – is to be announced in October 2018.  We hope that we can lock in at least 10 communities reasonably quickly for production to begin by mid-March 2018. This could allow shipping to communities for a mid- to late summer 2018 installation. 


Fundraising Assistance

The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education will 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

  • Package A: a customization package with i) a customized site map on each stanchion that includes local way-finding information; and ii) a color master print file for a customized tour brochure with a description of the community, a local site map, and acknowledgment of local partners (see the customized site map and tour brochure for Kansas City, and customized site maps for Washington, DC, Corpus Christi, and Houston)
  • Package B: 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 I exhibition.



  • site: reasonably linear 2,000 ft 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 from the institution(s) with site authority confirming that the site is available for Voyage installation
  • installation: a letter stating that a vendor and needed funds have been secured for installation


How to Explore A Voyage Mark II Exhibition for Your Community

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

Hosted & Managed by: Drew Roman

Design by: Drew Roman & WooThemes