Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finally old enough...

I felt like the boys were finally old enough to appreciate a trip to Kennedy Space Center. KSC is more like a museum than a theme park, and before now I didn't really see it appealing to the boys too much. But they had a great time today.

We arrived at 11:30, and started off our day by letting the boys get some energy out at the children's play dome. They climbed around, and went down slides, and made a new friend. Then we explored the Rocket Garden, before heading in to have lunch with Astronaut John Fabian.

I was a little disappointed with the lunch part of the experience. Half the water glasses on our table were dirty, and the food consisted of a pretty limited buffet. It was good food, but not much variety. Meeting John Fabian more than made up for it. He spoke to the group about his experiences, some of his personal heros, and climate change. Apparently, climate change is a pretty hot topic among those who have been to space, and have seen first hand the changes sweeping our planet.

Then he opened the floor to questions from the audience. Nico decided to ask not one, not two, but three questions. The first was "How far away are the satellites?" to which Mr. Fabian replied it depends on which satellites he meant. Spy satellites are a mere 100 miles up, but he couldn't reveal more than that. Nico's second question was "What is the difference between (being in) water and space." The answer is, there is still gravity and viscosity in water, but not in space. And Nico's final question was, "How long does it take to get to Pluto?" A probe was launched five years ago, and still has not reached it. So a long, long time.

After lunch, and a quick picture with John Fabian, we headed over to The Shuttle Launch Experience. Unfortunately Lucas was just an inch too short to ride, but he was able to watch from the observation room while Timmy and I took turns riding with Nico. It was a pretty realistic simulation, and Nico loved it.

We ventured into the Star Trek Live show, where Cadet Timmy was called up on stage to be scanned by a time-traveling Vulcan. Then after a quick ice cream stop, we headed in to watch Hubble 3D on IMAX. The images from the Hubble Telescope are breathtaking, and seeing them in 3D almost brought me to tears. But KSC needs to do a huge overhaul on the film. There were many black spots cropping up through out the movie, and at times it was difficult to watch.

Made a quick stop in the gift shop, where Nico picked out a t-shirt, and Lucas picked out a rocket/shuttle pack of toys, before departing.

The weather was perfect, the boys were engaging and well-behaved, and overall it was a wonderful day! I'm glad I decided to wait until they were a bit older before venturing into this territory, but now that I know they can handle it, I look forward to many more trips like this.

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