Sunday, June 27

“Anyone who sits on top of the largest hydrogen-oxygen fueled system in the world; knowing they're going to light the bottom—and doesn't get a little worried—does not fully understand the situation.” ~ John Young (after being asked if he was worried about making the first space shuttle flight)

So these first couple of weeks at NASA have mostly been to let us get used to our jobs and everything, but now they are going to start having lectures and activities for us to go to, so I should have some pretty cool stuff to write about.  

To kick it off, we did the COOLEST THING EVER! Adrienne (the other girl intern in the archives) is renting a room for the summer from the lady who runs the simulators that the astronauts train on, so we got to go tour them! Basically, this is a hard tour to get, and since they are ending the shuttle runs soon they are closing the whole thing down, so we were some of the last people to ever see it! (Us, and Steven Colbert, who apparently was here a couple weeks ago and they brought him through).

Anyways, there are 3 simulators. One that is of theHouston 2010 189 International Space Station (this one has no motion), one of a shuttle (with motion), and one . . . I don't remember what that one was. They were using it so we didn't get to see it. What we DID get to do was USE the shuttle simulator. We had this pilot who went with us, so we each got a turn to fly and LAND the space shuttle. It was WAY freaky. It is a VERY realistic simulator (obviously, since the astronauts actually train with it) and it was scary. I think that Astronauts are the bravest people in the world.

 Houston 2010 190 Anyways, here is a picture of me in the pilot's chair. This is shortly after I landed the shuttle. Take-off you're just sitting straight back and then you shoot up. It's very scary. And out the windows you see everything as if you were really flying up into space. It’s very scary and I did not enjoy the small tiny space that you are locked into. 

Because I did not enjoy the flying like everyone else, I didn’t stay for all the flights and I went into the flight control room where the mission control operators do their thing and that was pretty cool. When we were all done flying, we went in there and they printed out our statistics for us of our flights.

Houston 2010 193 They said if I had been landing an actual shuttle, I would have had a pretty good chance of survival. Haha . . .

Oh, by the way, this is what the simulator looks like from the outside:

Houston 2010 191 Okay, you can't actually see any of it . . . but you can see the stairs leading up to it! haha.

Anyways, that was the excitement for this week! Actually, there was more, but I haven’t put the pictures onto my computer yet, so you’ll get all that at a later date. 


sharon said...

That is way cool!! I am glad you get to do that!!

L& J said...

awesome! i don't blame you, i think that would be scary too! they have a ride at walt disney world called mission to mars. Its like a simulator and there was a lot of G force on it. I refused to ride it-- i was afraid id get sick and id feel clausterphobic (sp?)! cool that you got to tour it though-- and hey, you were brave for trying it!