New York has the Guggenheim, Paris has the Louvre, but Portland will soon have…Star Trek: The Museum, the largest Trek archive in the galaxy.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s 6,000-square-foot, million-dollar Trek exhibit, called ”Star Trek: Federation Science,” will house dozens of artifacts — phasers, communicators, tricorders — as well as replicas of the Enterprise‘s command bridge, engine room, and transporter system. ”Some exhibits will actually work,” promises the museum’s creative director, Rick Shannon. A Trek exhibit called the Planet Walker, for instance, will let visitors experience the effects of different planets’ gravities. Another will demonstrate Newton’s third law of motion. ”We’ll have a chair on wheels,” says Shannon, ”and when people sit in it and throw beanbags, they’ll roll backward. That’s how they’ll learn about action and reaction.” The Trek mecca, financed by private donations and exhibit fees, is scheduled to open in January; after six months it will travel to Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and a few other cities before returning home. It can count on competition: The Smithsonian is launching a smaller Trek exhibit of its own — displaying Romulan uniforms and starship models, among other things — at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., Feb. 28 through Labor Day.