The Dream Rocket Project

As of 12/6/17 we decided to cancel the Dream Rocket Project. However, we will still be running all the scheduled art exhibits. We have decided to place our energies into creating more art opportunities through our art exhibits programming and other projects. After 8 years, we ended the DRP with a collection of nearly 6,500 art submissions. It was a beautiful journey.

About The Dream Rocket Project

The Dream Rocket Project launched in 2009, it’s goal was to collect thousands of artworks from various regions of the world. Eventually, all submissions will have been connected side by side to wrap the skeleton of a 385′ Space Launch System (SLS) rocket replica. The wrapped SLS would have been placed on temporary exhibit at locations around the United States. A project inspired by NASA’s mission to Mars and beyond.

Above: 4 sides of the wrap. The empty space is where additional art needed to be placed.

SLS_configurationWe located venue hosts and explored ways the SLS wrap could be constructed. Submissions were received from individuals residing in dozens of countries, states and in hundreds of communities. Submissions were in the form of textile art accompanied by essays, progress images, reports and examples of innovative approaches inside classrooms across our nation. Art themes ranged from science, space, technology, conservation, education, freedom and equality. Individual submissions have been exhibited in libraries, schools, museums and community centers.


Wrapped Saturn V Collage

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Originally, DRP’s intent was to wrap the 365′ Saturn V Moon rocket replica at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL from May-June 2015, however in October 2014 participants voted to pivot the project to reflect NASA’s current dream rocket, the SLS. A monumental achievement that was marked by collaboration, the Saturn V moon rocket is still considered the only rocket to have carried humans out of the Earth’s orbit (until the SLS is successful): it is the ideal example of realizing an “impossible” dream. 

DRP estimated that by the time we received our target goal of 9,000 submissions, 36,000+ people will have contributed to a monumental wrap. The social and economic benefits to youth and their communities reveals a vibrant and visible program, marked by collaboration from individuals in all economic sectors. By exposing kids to the importance of collaboration through multi-disciplinary approaches we hoped to inspire them to feel the freedom to DREAM big, THINK big and make a difference. By wrapping the SLS rocket replica with our dreams, the SLS exhibit could serve as an inspiring visual symbol of collaboration and perseverance. 

Mathilda Lien, Angers, France “Things Could Be Otherwise…”

(left image) “I am participating in the Leonardo Da Vinci project “Collisions of Art and Science” because I like Da Vinci’s work, especially his anatomical drawings, and because the title of the project intrigued me. When I brainstormed for the project I put myself in Leonardo’s shoes. I imagined drawing elaborate machinery or human bodies. Leonardo emphasized a scientific approach. He was precise and attempted to be an objective observer. Yet, Leonardo’s “scientific” drawings are full of life and beauty. They are considered art. I realized then how I wanted to approach the project. I did not want to focus on a “collision” between art and science which emphasizes a violent clash of conflicting ideas. Rather, it seemed more appropriate to focus on the common thread between the two. I think the common thread between art and science is the desire and necessity to see how things could be otherwise, or to put it another way, to “think outside the box.” -Mathilda Lien



NASA Kennedy Visitors Center, FL

“Since these are project-based lesson plans with many different topics, they could apply to many different subjects, not just the arts. PBL (project based learning) has been shown to make learning more meaningful for students. It is also great that the lessons are all planned out (often with links right in the lesson to other media) so that teachers can put out quality lessons/topics in less time. I know that I am always on the lookout for ways to be more productive.” – Mrs. Peterson-Shea, Art Teacher, Kansas

On August 16, 2009 former CEO Larry Capps at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama said, “It’s a very interesting idea. We’ve always focused our efforts on the notion of getting youngsters excited about their future, and this program walks hand-in-hand with that goal. So, if wrapping the rocket might influence some budding young artist, or scientist, then we’re behind it.”

HILLER AVIATION MUSEUM exhibit Oct 14 - Nov 25, 2014

Hiller Aviation Museum, CA

“America’s new heavy-lift rocket will be the largest launch vehicle ever built and more powerful than the Saturn V rocket that carried Apollo astronauts to the moon. The 70-metric-ton-(77 ton) configuration will lift more than 154,000 pounds and will provide 10 percent more thrust than the Saturn V rocket while the 130-metric-ton-(143 ton) configuration will lift more than 286,000 pounds and provide 20 percent more thrust than the Saturn V. The first SLS mission—Exploration Mission 1—in 2017 will launch an un-crewed Orion spacecraft to demonstrate the integrated system performance of the SLS rocket and spacecraft prior to a crewed flight.” – NASA

What does a park mean to you?

Jonathan B. Jarvis is the 18th Director of the United States National Park Service standing with students from Stamford Central School District, Stamford, NY in front of our exhibit at Roosevelt-Vanderbilt NHS.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History and Director of the Hayden Planetarium, encouraged us to incorporate the dream symbolism into the project when we began working towards wrapping the Saturn V because; “The Saturn V is the ideal icon to represent a big dream. This rocket…allowed our human species to venture beyond our world and stand on another – surely one of the biggest dreams of all time. Enabling the dreams of young people to touch this mighty rocket sends a powerful message.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson




Dodge City Middle School students visit the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center 2.09.14




huntsville-space-and-rocket-center(left image) U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL. (Left in photo) Full scale vertical Saturn V replica. (Right in photo) Full scale horizontal real Saturn V. — DRP worked from 2009 – October 2014 to find ways to wrap either one of these Saturn V’s, however, permission was only granted for the vertical replica version.