Thursday, March 24, 2011

Field Trip Number Eleven - Space and Rocket Center

Today we took another field trip.  This time to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  And wouldn't you know, the Administrator of NASA, Charles Bolden, was there to talk with local, regional and national business owners and managers.  (See this link to find out more about it).  And yes, we saw, and walked amongst, the (very distinguished looking) crowd of people in the Davidson Center. (We did NOT help ourselves to the buffet!)

Again I refer you to photos to tell the story.

We planned on getting there soon after opening time - forgot we were gaining an hour in central time - so were 20 minutes early - a nice surprise!  Actually the place was already open so we didn't even wait.  Prolly open for the special meeting mentioned above.

It's hard to tell the size of these from the picture.  This engine on the bottom left, for example, is at least 15 feet in diameter!

Big whoop-di-doo....Standing by a moonrock.  "No big deal", says C, "I have a meteorite from possibly Mars or somewhere!"  She refused to be excited by this moonrock!!

Well, here they are ON the moon.  And all this time I thought the moon had really soft, deep and dusty stuff covering it.  In THIS area the ground was as hard as asphalt!

A race between Solar power and battery power.  The Solar powered vehicle won - but only because it went faster when the sun was shining.  Unfortunately clouds were quicky blowing in and everytime the sun disappeared, the buggy would stop dead (no stored energy!).  But in the end, the sun prevailed and helped the solar one to win. Reminded me of the rabbit and the tortoise race - except the rabbit won.

Powering a lunar buggy in an earth race, with bicycle power! (pretend).

C helping in a science demonstration.  Here, she is trying to knock the cup off the lady's head with moving air.

This is what air is made of.

Trying out the Mars rock climbing wall.  They climbed it at least 7 or 8 times.  I'm hoping that'll help with sleep tonight!

Two people trying out space suits while building something, gloves and all.  Plus, the chairs moved this way and that as they worked, simulating the movement outside a space shuttle, in space.

The space shuttle Pathfinder.  You've never heard of this one?  It was the prototype built to measure sizes, weights and other details related to moving the shuttle around on the ground and in the air. 

The Hubble space telescope (in miniature).  There were an extreme amount of models throughout the center which I didn't always capture on "film", although they WERE most interesting.

One of the rockets as we say good-bye.

A little about the weather - it seemed to get colder as the day went by.  Started out with clear skies and was moderately cool (7:30am is cool anyway).  By the time we left, as you can see in this photo, clouds had moved in and it was definitely jacket weather.  As they say, March came in like a lamb, so is prolly going to leave like a lion!  Frost expected tonight!!

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