50 Ways to Space Out
Looking for ways to celebrate a half century of spaceflight? Here's fifty of 'em.
- By Roger Mola
- Air & Space magazine, July 2007
(Page 4 of 7)
24 HEAR THE ROAR OF A SPACE SHUTTLE ENGINE, up close, at the Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi. The StenniSphere Visitor’s Center is free and open to the public Wednesday through Saturday (excluding holidays). You’re invited to watch test firings of a space shuttle main engine either during regular hours or at scheduled test-fire viewings. Call (800) 237-1821 or check out www1.ssc.nasa.gov/public/visitors for more information. If you can’t make the trip to Mississippi, watch a test firing at www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/home/index.html.
25 LET THE LEGO FORCE be with you with the new Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, from $19.98 to $39.99, depending on your choice of eight video game platforms. Available at LEGO products have been created, like the Imperial Star Destroyer, Ultimate Collector version, with 3,104 pieces for $299.99.
26 PLAY STELLAR MONOPOLY with the U.S. Space Program edition, Night Sky edition, Astronomy edition, and Star Wars Original Trilogy edition (with collectible game pieces). You’ll find most available online for $39.99 or less from boardgamegeek.com or thespaceshop.com.
27 TOUR CAPE CANAVERAL and check out Launch Complex 26, site of the first successful launch of a U.S. satellite, Explorer 1, in 1958, followed by the launches of the first three primates, Gordo, Able, and Miss Baker. The Air Force Space and Missile Museum at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is open every day. Take the two-and-a-half-hour “Cape Canaveral: Then and Now” tour by bus from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Reserve your seat by calling (321) 449-4400, or by going online at kennedyspacecenter.com/visitKSC/NASAtours/thenNow.asp.
28 SNAG A FREE POSTER from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Propellants, Pressure Systems and Life Support Office, with its flaming motto “You Can’t Leave Earth Without Us.” The office ships 24 types of liquid propellants, pressurants, and fluids in 200 tankers and tube trailers to support the space shuttle and Atlas and Delta rockets. Download a printable version at propellants.ksc.nasa.gov/poster.htm.
29 SPACE DOG is one of the classically styled windup toys sold by Tin Man Tin Toys. It sparks, flaps its ears, and opens its mouth ($19.99). Also available at tinmantoys.com: Zorgon, a foot-long rocket from the movie Zathura ($20.99) and dozens more.
30 STREAM HISTORIC SPACE FILMS from the National Archives to your desktop for free, courtesy of Google Video: Orson Welles, and 1962’s The John Glenn Story. Or check out the Johnson Space Center’s compilation of 40 titles at Space Movies Cinema, jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/movies.html, with titles from Mooncar Motoring to Woodpecker Attack on Shuttle.
31 VISIT MARS (or its beta test site, which compares Earth and Mars atmospheres) on the AtmosModeler Simulator at the Glenn Research Center, www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/BGH/atmosi.html. Calculate how Mars’ atmosphere would affect aerodynamics by inputting variables into the site’s calculator.