Thursday, April 19, 2012

...and more Discovery!

As if Tuesday wasn't enough excitement with the Space Shuttle Discovery coming into NoVA, today added even more! So, once again, I am giving NoVA some extra props this week. We've had a fantastic week enjoying all the extras with the Space Shuttle Discovery coming into the Udvar-Hazy Space Museum here in Dulles.

Today was the big "festival" kick for the Space Shuttle that had arrived on Tuesday. We woke up not quite sure if we were going to brave the crowds or not, but after some discussion with a friend, we decided to head in and see what it was all about, and I am so glad we did!

There wasn't any traffic, and there were big crowds, but everyone was nicely spread out between the outside festivities and the museum inside. We waited in a quick security line before we headed into the museum. They were giving away all sorts of cool posters, tattoos, stickers, etc - the kids were in heaven! It was so exciting for them. Once we were done inside, we headed outside. The kids were able to sign their name on the one of the wheels from the space shuttle.
The girls signing their name on the wheel 

Outside you immediately saw the Space shuttle Enterprise, which had been housed at the museum. This was the prototype for NASA, and had never actually been in orbit. They are going to be moving this shuttle to NYC next week sometime. They had lots of Astronauts, and speakers outside as well as the Marine Corps Drum & Bugle which was fantastic! There was plenty of space for everyone. Then around 11am, they brought the Discovery to touch noses with Enterprise. The new "mission" for the Discovery is to educate. It was amazing to see the differences between the two. Since the Enterprise has never been in orbit, it was in pristine condition, but the Discovery looked very beat up, and dirty!

Me and my crew

In all that hype, and trying to get video and photos, I lost Clara. I thought she was with my girlfriend and the other kids and she thought she was in the stroller. I immediately panicked, and started to head back to the area where we had been. I called her name, and couldn't find her. After about 5-10 minutes, I saw her standing with an older couple who were keeping her safe for me.....thank God. One of the scariest moments of my life. Clara wasn't crying and was so brave. I was so proud of her for finding someone to help find me.

The two shuttles touching noses

After that, we listened to some more music and enjoyed some more festivities. It was a really great day and we learned a ton together! When we got home, we went through some of the materials we picked up. Mairead was very interested. One of the posters had 100 NASA missions on them, and of course, the Challenger and the Columbia were listed. I told Mairead what happened with them and she was very interested. We watched the Challenger disaster on YouTube together. She asked if I cried...I told her I was almost 7 and was young, but many people did. It was a pretty interesting conversation with her, but I enjoyed teaching her about the history of Space with her.

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