Finally, it was Saturday and Annie said we were going to go to SPACE! I wasn’t sure what she meant because I haven’t seen ANY rockets in Seattle so I decided to be an adventurous explorer and find out! And you can come along for the ride! You’re going to have the best day ever, because I sure did!
First, we went to a really cool place for breakfast and they had model planes and a model space shuttle and pictures of pilots and astronauts. This is me and a picture of Bonnie Dunbar. Cool, huh?
Then we went into a big glass building and Annie made me close my eyes until we got to the big surprise. I could tell there were lots of people and lots of kids and we walked inside then out then over a bridge, I think, because I heard cars and trucks below me. But I still had NO idea where we were going! Then Annie said I could open my eyes and look where we were…
We were at the SPACE MUSEUM!!! And look what’s inside!
It’s the real Shuttle Trainer that ALL the astronauts practiced in before they went to space! I was so excited I think I screamed really loud! Oops. You’re not supposed to scream in museums, even SPACE museums. But Annie said it was OK because the first time she came here, she kind of screamed too! The Shuttle Trainer is the same size as a real Space Shuttle, except it doesn’t have any wings so it can’t really fly. Annie said there was MORE to the big surprise, and I had to wait 20 more minutes to find out. Oh, man, I am SO not good at waiting! So we looked around and then we had fun taking pictures of me with a lot of cool exhibits in the museum!
Here’s me with model of an astronaut. I look pretty good, right? I think I could be an astronaut if I was taller…
And here is me with all the astronauts who flew the very FIRST Space Shuttle and the very LAST space shuttle.
And me and Sandy Magnus? We are best buds just hanging out in the cupola of the International Space Station! Well, sort of. That’s me pretending I’m up there because I would LOVE to be in space!!
And look, it’s me sitting on a model of the Space Toilet! I bet Real Eden is jealous of this picture 🙂
This is me spacewalking with another astronaut. It almost looks like I’m in space, right? Well, I think so, except I don’t have a space suit on!
We watched a video about exercising in space, and I got so excited because the runner was Karen Nyberg! Real Eden actually got to meet Astro Karen last year!.
Annie looked at her watch and said it was time for the second part of the big surprise! I couldn’t imagine what could possibly be better than this!? Well, I was wrong. It WAS better!! We were going to go inside the Shuttle Trainer and stand where all 315 astronauts stood and practiced how to be in space! See that big round opening on the right? That’s the official “emergency exit hatch” for the Trainer and, for today, it was our doorway.
Here’s me and Denise ready to go inside the Shuttle Trainer!!
I was kind of excited but a little nervous to go inside because there’s not much room and there’s LOTS of stuff we can’t touch. I think I was shaking just a little bit but I tried to be brave and strong because I think that’s how an astronaut would be and I definitely want to be an astronaut some day! This is good practice, I told myself. I climbed inside (with a little help from Annie) and then we went up a ladder to the flight deck! This is the Commander’s seat and wow, there are a lot of dials and buttons and gauges you need to know to fly the Space Shuttle! No wonder so many astronauts are also pilots!
On the back of the flight deck is a smaller set of flight controls. This is only used when they are in orbit, to catch or release a satellite or dock with the International Space Station. You can see a model of part of the booster for the Hubble Space Telescope (Annie’s favorite telescope) behind me. I like this picture because it does kind of look like I’m actually in space if you look out the right window!
Then we went down the ladder to the middle section. All these containers are carefully packed before the astronauts go into space so they can practice getting things in and out, like clothes and toothbrushes and even books. Remember, in space there is gravity so if you just opened up the drawer of your stuff, all if it might float away really fast! So they use a lot of velcro to hold things down. Pretty smart idea using velcro, right?!
And right next to it is the kitchen. Yep, that’s the WHOLE kitchen because their food is all in plastic packets and they microwave it. The microwave is that big box under my hand.
And look, it’s the space toilet! They even have to practice how to go to the bathroom!
And then, our time in the Shuttle Trainer was over and it was time to go. I was sad, but I was also really excited because now I kind of know how an astronaut feels inside a real shuttle! I thought maybe it would be too crowded or dark or something, but it was interesting and fun and I had a blast! (Get it, a blast, like a rocket blasts off? I kind of wish we could have blasted off to space today but then I’d never get back to Osceola in time for Real Eden to share my adventures with her class!) We took one last picture of me with the Shuttle Trainer and then we waved goodbye!
On the way back to the car, we went to the gift shop and picked out some really cool stuff for Real Eden! That’s Jasmine, my new friend who was working at the store. I bet you wish you knew what was in that blue bag!
I can’t tell you (it’s a SECRET!!!) but I can show you two things we got for Real Eden…
My favorite is the necklace because we picked out the picture and the words just for Real Eden and made it right in the museum!!
And that’s the story of our very special SPACE DAY! I hope Real Eden loves our story because we were thinking of her every single minute!