The From Earth to the Solar System (FETTSS) project exhibits images from across the Solar System in public venues such as parks, libraries and other free, community-based public science locations to provide multi-generational and family-friendly content in English and Spanish. The purpose of the program is to communicate crosscutting NASA content (in heliophysics, planetary science and multiwavelength astrophysics) with casual and/or non-intentional audiences—members of the public who may not already be heavily invested in science. The program utilizes an online repository built at no-cost that encourages replication of exhibits suitable for local adaptation around the world, as well as a NASA-funded traveling exhibit visiting over a dozen US locations from 2011-2012.
From Earth to the Solar System (FETTSS) was conceived as a direct response for NASA's Year of the Solar System (which ran for one Martian year, from October 2010 through August 2012), and provides a solid case study for the category of public science events.
As with its predecessor project, From Earth to the Universe (FETTU), the FETTSS organizational structure follows a grass-roots approach (Russo & Christensen, 2010) in which local organizers are provided with high-quality, accurate materials to print their own version of the exhibition for their selected venues. The FETTSS project supplies high-resolution electronic files that have been approved for non-commercial outreach use to be displayed in any way that makes sense for a given venue, with the printing, installation, and other logistics are the responsibility of the local hosts.
Such global-to-local methodologies in distributed curation offer exponential increases in exposure and impact from an original single-noded project, expanding access beyond the cost of the original EPOESS-funded US program into an international public science program.
The existing international FETTU network was leveraged to advertise the FETTSS opportunity beyond NASA and U.S.-specific audiences. As of March 2013, over 100 venues from around the world have hosted FETTSS events, from cafés in New Zealand to a mall in Texas.
View the published papers on FETTSS and public science results.