Saturday, May 25, 2002
Saturday finally came, and I was at the Space & Rocket Center well before it opened! I wasn’t alone though, as a surprising number of people arrived just as early as I did! But thankfully, I had my newly acquired membership, so I was able to get into the museum before most of them!
As can (sort of) be seen in this photo, they had various activities going on under the Pathfinder. Children could get their faces painted among other things, while off to the right of the Pathfinder was a place to make sand art.
For the first time anyone I spoke to could think of, the general public was offered tours of the Space Camp and Aviation Challenge facilities. This was a good thing, as it prevented me from having to break on to the Training Center Floor and risk being surrounded by security! Here, Hillary and Blake talk in Intrepid’s Mission Control about what goes on during a mission. I got the opportunity to talk with them quite a bit on the tour…we were joking that, if something were to happen to the two of them in the middle of the tour, I would have to carry on with it!
The tour left Intrepid’s MOCR and everyone got to go inside the Intrepid simulator! This was great for me, as I had never seen it before! …It had just been completed the last year I was there, and ASA doesn’t use it.
Overall, I would say Intrepid is a pretty advanced simulator, behind only Enterprise (I’d say) as far as authenticity goes. Many of the appropriate switches and buttons were present to make this an authentic looking shuttlecraft! From Intrepid, the tour continued on to Habitat 1 as well as the Astrotrek building.