Space Adventures

I still remember the pride I felt when the Apollo 11 lunar module “Eagle”, landed in the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon. I watched it on a small TV set, and it was in black and white, but it still stands out as one of the most memorable moments I’ve every experienced, especially these words which were engraved in my mind: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” I was a million miles away and still felt goose bumps; so I can imagine the kaleidoscope of emotions that Penny Terry (Hospitality International’s Administrative Assistant) experienced when watching her cousin fly off into space.

Space Shuttle Launch as seen from Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Flickr Photo by Minds-eye

Astronaut Stephanie D. Wilson was always interested in space and at the age of 13, after interviewing an astronomer, thought being an astronaut, traveling “literally” around the world would be “neat!”  Wilson has certainly proven that dreams can come true.

Photo Courtesy of Great Lakes Science Center

For those of us who are fascinated with outer space, but for one reason or another will never achieve what Ms. Wilson did, perhaps we can do the next best thing:  We can attend a space camp or opt for some type of outer space simulation experience like viewing outer space through the Hubble Space Telescope (which, by the way is celebrating its 20th anniversary).  Click on this link for your very own space adventure. http://imax.com/hubble

There are approximately 13 NASA Space Centers where you can experience a variety of things associated with space and science.  Although there may be fees associated with space camps, and there may be some entry fees to various museums and the facilities themselves, many of exhibits are free.  You might want to start with the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., or visit the Ames Research Center near San Francisco, which boasts the largest Immersive theater on the West Coast, with its 40 ft. wide-screen offering panoramic views with eye-popping movies and special effects.

Photo Courtesy of Great Lakes Science Center

How about the Great Lakes Science Center (part of the Glenn Research Center) in Cleveland, Ohio?   Here you can view shows like Sea Monsters (A prehistoric adventure) or Hubble the “most iconic scientific instrument of our time,”  launching you into ‘virtual’ space and experience amazing sites.  Along with

Photo Courtesy of Great Lakes Science Center

features like these in the Omnimax Theater, you’ll find plenty of exhibits that will appeal to children, like Strange Matter (beginning May 29th) or go deep into the oceans and see Sea Monsters!

Want to learn more about these unusual exhibits, click here: http://www.glsc.org/strange_matter/strange_matter_programs.php

 If you’re traveling south then perhaps the Kennedy Space Center is the ideal place to visit with several more launches scheduled before the end of the year.  For their schedule and to get complete information on all of the NASA related space centers, click here: http://www.nasa.gov/about/sites/index.html  You’ll find listings for  the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL and the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX., just to name a few.

Experiencing something so exhilarating as a rocket ship hurtling into space, especially with children would be a memory for eternity; or being able to see the sky through powerful telescopes that make you feel as though you could reach out and easily touch the stars would be an awesome experience as well.  Even watching movies like Star Wars or Star Trek can leave you with a feeling of traveling beyond time. 

It’s just a matter of time when you’ll be able to book your vacation to Mars or the Moon, and hopefully there will be accommodations where you can get a good night’s sleep.

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