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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Let the Geekery Commence

So, maybe I've mentioned that we're kind of science geeks, no? Yes. Well. We are.

Unabashedly. Unashamedly. We love science. We love space. We love science fiction. We love science fact.

We love Rocket City Rednecks. Seriously. Watch it.

So going to Kennedy Space Center was a little like going to church. Did I tell you that Dr. SmartyPants once had an experiment go up on the space shuttle?

Mhmm. I know - it's not fair - wicked smart AND wicked handsome. I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Anyway...we went and toured, and explored and smiled and marveled and mourned while we were there.

Lost in Space

We hung out with the original Mercury 7.

Mercury10

We jumped in a Gemini capsule...

Gemini

And an Apollo capsule...

Apollo

We met a cool character walking around.  So much better than Mickey Mouse, people...

Astro Boys

We toured the original blockhouses from the early rocket tests. The boys actually got to push the button that sent Alan Shepherd into space.

Launch Control

We stood on the pad where the Apollo 1 crew lost their lives, and marveled at the quiet beauty of the place - the ocean in the distance. All launch pads can be rebuilt and used, but this one stands as a ruin and will never be used again - a tribute to Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee, the brave men who died that day.

Apollo 1 Memorial

We wandered around and wondered if we would go to space again, now that the shuttle program has been killed. We marveled at the scientific advances that never would have existed, had NASA not thought them up. We talked about the every day things we use, and don't even think about, that were developed by NASA for the astronauts and ended up in our kitchens and cars and schools. Smoke detectors were developed as a direct consequence of the Apollo 1 tragedy.

Can you imagine life without smoke detectors? They are ubiquitous. Before 1967? Not so much. One of the tour guides said that every detector should have the names Grissom, White and Chaffee on them.

How about long range weather forecasting, energy efficient air conditioning, satellite navigation, CAT scans, computers, flat panel televisions, water purification systems, UV protective sunglasses, shock-absorbing athletic shoes, heart monitors...the list goes on and on.

Maybe one day, we'll get back up there. Maybe one day, our government will once again recognize that science is a good thing and should be funded.

Maybe one day...

To Boldly Go