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Friday, June 17, 2016

Space Center Huntsville Alabama

 Lon has been talking about going to see the Space Center in Huntsville since he got home from Florida!  This week, we had time for a quick overnight trip. It was slightly too far for a long day trip

We set out early in the morning!
We like to get on the road early.

Even though we left early, the sun was shining and the road looked great

Lon was settling in.  We programmed my phone to take us the fastest route to the Space Center.

Somehow it did not work out that way. It took us off the freeway onto country lanes and 35 mile an hour towns.  We added almost an hour and a half to the trip by doing that.  A seven hour ride turned into almost nine.   I am not ever going to use an electronic map again.  I can not trust them.

Finally got to the Welcome Center in Alabama. Lon is now one state closer to getting all 50.

We picked up a paper map.

The one thing we did not think about was Alabama was on central time.  That gave us back an hour to spend at the Space Center once we got there

We found it! The Space Center!

On the way in they have a station for each planet.  Each is the same size ratio to the sun and distance from the sun station. Uranus and Neptune are WAY out in the parking lot.

we are getting closer to the entrance.  It was cool that there was so much to see before we even got to the Center

This is not space related but all the things that were invented in Huntsville.

There was an exhibit called Cosmic Jewels. I liked this.  Diamonds and pearls.  The attendant tells you that the glass is very sensitive and not to get too close or touch the glass at all or alarms would go off.  We chose not to take that chance. We looked at it and admired them from a distance

 I did not get a chance to see through this telescope but Lon said it was cool.

moving ping pong balls around the maze with air.  Lifting doors created suction to pull the balls to that door, or away from another.  Lon mastered the maze

A Rube Goldberg type machine. It is fascinating to watch.

This section of the main building was about hands on kid's science fun

The Rocket Garden

The army had some static displays here too

 The launch drop.  This ride is just like at the fair, Sit in the chair, get strapped down. UP you go and then boom! It feels like free fall going down.  there are a couple drops.

We gave this a pass.

We went back inside the main building.  Air Conditioning is a good thing

I wondered what this was.

 and there is what it is!

This Saturn 5 Rocket is a replica.

We went and saw the Sky Lab exhibit, and that was very cool.  They had a Rocket Scientist there who worked on SkyLab to talk to us about it!
  He had a hat on that said, this is not rocket science, oh wait, yes it is!   He was a very nice gentleman and I am sorry I did not get photos of him with Lon

This was something we did not learn about at all in Florida. Small shuttles! This would be so cool!

Lon was trying to land the capsule on the moon

After seeing and playing on most of the exhibits we headed back to the gift shop for a few souvenirs.  Lon put all the things he wanted on the counter at the register. Looked at them and put one model back.  The cashier looked at me and told me that she thought he was a wonderfully smart young man.  She said most kids his age by the space goop stuff in almost every color, but nothing that will be lasting for them as a souvenir.   He was using his own money for his purchases so he wanted to get it right. I think he did.
I just bought some postcards for Lon to send later.

this is the Pathfinder. The first shuttle. It was never launched into space. It served as a test shuttle to see if the cranes could hold it, to see if it would fit into the launch pad.  

This was our day at the Huntsville Space Center. It was worth going out to see.  Lon is now thinking about space camp!  It looked like fun, there were many different camps going on all around us. Little kids, bigger kids, Lon's age kids. Boys and Girls.  

Our next stop is Birmingham, just to spend the night  before heading home.

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