Monday, January 25, 2010

Marshall Space Flight Center


Road trip! I made a big gas-guzzling circle around some southern states to visit friends, and see the Marshall Space Flight Center. It's pathetic, really... I've driven through Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama more than a dozen times on cross-country treks, but have never once visited NASA Michoud, Stennis or Marshall Facilities. At least now I'm 1 for 3...

Apollo 16 Capsule

Of course all of my readers know The Other Heather, aka Weightless Heather, from when she shared her experiences on the Vomit Comet. Devin and I both met her when she interviewed us for the "Lying Around" article on the Simulation Studies, which is now featured on the top page of their NASA site.

NASA Marshall
Tour Guide Extraordinaire

Then there's my buddy Craig, who works in the same region of NASA Marshall, near Huntsville in beautiful northern Alabama.

Upon arrival at 1 Tranquility Base (yes, that’s their actual address!), they took me all around the Space & Rocket center, the famous Space Camp, their native ISS Control, and the Space Shuttle Orbiter Pathfinder. Heather and Craig also escorted me all over the nearby Redstone Arsenal military base to see Werner von Braun's stomping ground, as well as many historic and current rocket test stands.

Despite interrupting a workday for them, and in the middle of covering 20 miles of show-and-tell, they remembered to feed me and even whisk me through a giftshop. The whole package! And these two amazing hosts could not be more proud of their town, their space center and their work for our nation’s space program.

NASA Marshall
Heather and Craig, I am so grateful for your time and all your scheduling efforts You cannot imagine how much fun I had... I felt so lucky and happy to benefit from how excited you were to showcase all the amazing elements of your space center! Great job!

Over the next week, I’ll be adding more photos to my NASA Marshall photo gallery and describing some of the fun stuff there. You will definitely see why it's Alabama's Number One Tourist Destination!