Friday, November 9, 2012

A Space Mission

It was early release Friday again for the kids, and the perfect day for a space mission.

The new space gallery at the Museum of Flight in Seattle is having its grand opening tomorrow.  Members and guests could get a sneak preview this week.

We picked the kids up from school a few minutes early and whisked them away to the museum at Boeing Field in South Seattle.

 Irene consigned me to be her official  photographer, so that she could have photos to document her visit when it's her turn at school to be "In the spotlight".

When we walked into the gallery the first impression of the Shuttle Trainer was "it's huge!".
 Seattle didn't get one of the three surviving shuttles, but instead we got the trainer,  a wooden model that was used by every astronaut to train for missions on the real shuttles.  The good thing about this trainer is that you can actually go in it.

But you can't "go" in this.  It's a model of the shuttle toilet.  Apparently it is the most asked question.
 This gallery was funded largely by a benefactor, Charles Simonyi, a former Microsoft program developer and billionaire president of his own software company.  Charles Simonyi is a space enthusiast who has twice ridden into space on a Russian Soyuz space craft.  Here is one of his capsules.
 While the crew cabin is by tour only, with a minimum age of ten, and a $25 extra fee, the  payload bay is open to all.

 Outside the trainer a video console lets you try to land the shuttle.  After one crash, the kids made two successful landings.

 Irene likes the EVA suit.
 While we couldn't go inside the cabin, a virtual tour let us see just what it is like.  Irene was miffed about not being able to go in, but decided this was almost as good.
 This unit is the Galley, the kitchen.  Eating did not take up much of the valuable space on the shuttle.
 Irene loves control panels.
 I should mention here that Jill raised her kids on space shuttle missions.  They never missed a one that flew in their short lifetimes. If they couldn't watch live, they recorded the launches, the landings, and the mission activities.  They are space cadets for sure.
 And a little spacey on the bridge back to the main museum too.
 We had snacks at the cafe, and then Tom and Isaac went to see the WWI and II planes, and Irene and I went to the other space wing.  Here she's looking at the view through the window of Sky Lab.  I think we were over Baja California at the time.
 At the shuttle gallery we watched a video of the lead up to the explosion of the Columbia on reentry over Texas, one of two shuttle disasters.  Irene decide then that she didn't really want to go into space after all, but piloting an airplane might be OK.
 Or maybe working in the control tower.  Either way, there are lots of lovely control panels.
 We crawled around some fighter jets before finishing at the gift shop.

I have orders from Miss Irene to make prints of all of the "good" photos.  I think I've got it covered.

It was a fun afternoon.  Then we met Jill at Red Robin and treated everyone to dinner.


  1. What a terrific place for kids AND grown ups, Linda. Your photos are just so awesome. Lucky Irene that she has a grandma who is such a camera expert.

  2. What a great place....I'll have to take my granddaughters when they're here next summer.

  3. what a post. i want to came there. thanks for this useful and great post.

  4. You have the best trips for the kids. What treasures you have nearby, too. I laughed at the notion of Irene assigning you to be photographer. As if you were not among the world's best documenters!

  5. Now I've put it on my list of things to do in Seattle, Linda. It looks perfect for a day's outing. Thanks for the great pictures! :-)

  6. What a great day trip. Irene definitely has some "good photos" to share :).

  7. Oh my, I have got to visit that museum. Wonderful. I wish my Caleb was interested in space exploration but he's not and lord knows I've tried. His daddy is not all that interested either so that's likely the reason Caleb is not.

  8. Good idea for an outing when my granddaughters visit right after Christmas.

  9. wish there was something like this in Hawaii. Great photos, Linda!

  10. Sounds like a wonderful outing, enjoyed the photos. I have similar ones from the Air and Space Museums in our area. One is only 20 minutes down the road, the other in Washington DC 45 minutes away. If ever you get out here to the East Coast I would love to show you around them.

  11. What a great way to lear and have fun too!
    Your photos will be a treaure for a long time to come.

  12. This museum is amazing Linda. Lucky you all and kids. Wish I could visit it... - Dave


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