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Informal Science Education Resources
from the home of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I want ViewSpace for my museum! How can I get it?
A: Just contact us and we’ll get you set up.
Q: Is ViewSpace really free? What’s the catch?
A: The production and delivery of ViewSpace is offered at no cost to museums, planetariums, nature centers, and other venues of “informal science education” in the USA. (A very modest annual subscription fee covers our pass-through costs for the networked presentation software used at your site.) We ask only that you sign a simple form agreeing to honor the copyright of images and music in the program, and to send us a picture of ViewSpace running in your facility. International requests are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Can I get ViewSpace on DVD or videotape?
A: No. ViewSpace is not a video. For its audience impact, ViewSpace depends on both the immediacy of fresh astronomy, delivered daily, and on high-resolution images that simply degrade when reduced to video resolution. For the same reason, we strongly discourage users from showing ViewSpace on TV monitors fed by the “TV out” connector available on some PC video cards.
Q: How do you make sure the science is accurate?
A: As one of the world’s top astronomical research institutions, we care about science! All ViewSpace presentations are created in consultation with active research scientists, both within and beyond the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Q: Is ViewSpace Interactive?
A: Not in the limited sense of kids pushing buttons or manipulating mechanisms. ViewSpace is primarily a means for conveying the amazing fruits of cutting-edge astronomical research. Because ViewSpace has a slow, meditative pace, there’s time to soak in the views and consider the meaning. This is just what people do when they watch it; they interact with the message. For those who wish to use ViewSpace as a live speaker support system, there is a Selectable Menu feature that can be invoked when desired.
Q: How long does ViewSpace last?
A: ViewSpace consists of a long, repeating loop of individual story segments. Each segment ranges from two or three to as much as 20 minutes. The whole loop contains well over six hours of content. The segments are designed so that people with time or interest constraints can wander in and out and still enjoy the experience. Some people will stay for extended periods and watch the whole thing.
Q: The hardware for ViewSpace will cost from $1,000 to $7,000. Isn’t that a lot for a small exhibit?
A: Depending on your budget, it could be — initially. But you’ll have an exhibit that doesn’t go out of date, and one that holds an audience’s attention. Visitors churn through exhibit spaces at 300 square feet per minute, on average. For small museums with limited exhibit space, ViewSpace can really extend and enhance the visitor experience.
Q: Is ViewSpace accessible to the hearing impaired?
A: Uniquely so. Because ViewSpace doesn’t use spoken narration, all of the content is conveyed visually, via images and captions. In this sense, ViewSpace has much more in common with traditional exhibit panels (images and text) than it does with videos.

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