"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Houston, Part 3: NASA

On our last day in Houston, we made a trip down to the NASA Space Center south of the city. This was the one place that I really wanted to go while in Houston.
It was a beautiful day, but actually a bit chilly and we found ourselves needing the sweatshirts that we had brought along.When we first pulled up, the line of cars was ridiculously long and we thought we would have to wait a long time and be around a huge crowd.
But, it turned out that there was an old electronics collection day and all of the people in line were just there to drop off there ancient computers and tv's. That was a relief. They had two huge trailer trucks there to collect everything.
When we got inside, we discovered that it wasnt very crowded at all. Here is an engine from one the shuttles.
A shuttle replica...
The inside of the shuttle replica...it looks so much line the cockpit of a plane...
One of the first space craft to successfully bring home one of our astronauts...
And the sign that went with it...you can click the picture to make it bigger, if you want to read it.
One of the Apollo command centers that brought astronauts home from the moon...
and the sign that went with it...
They had rocks from the moon to touch and look at. They just seemed very much like regular rocks.
While we were there, the shuttle had just launched to the space station the day before. One presentation displayed actual footage of the shuttle checking it's outer shell for damage and of the command center there in Houston. This was my favorite part of the day.
After we were done at NASA, we headed down to Gavelston, because I wanted to see what it would look like in the aftermath of the hurricane. We crossed this beautiful little bridge that looked brand new. Maybe it was rebuilt recently?
There was an unbelievable amount of damage at Gavelston, even though it had been 2 months since the hurricane hit. We went to eat at a seafood restaurant on the beach and he told us that many people just did not come back after the hurricane.
Across the water, you could see the oil refineries out in the Gulf of Mexico. I wonder what it would be like to live near a beach. Maybe I'll have to consider that for my next home. Definitely not somewhere even close to the hurricane region though.
Well, Houston was a nice little getaway and I learned alot at the conference. I think my teaching has already improved from implementing some of the ideas that I got from the conference. Overall, it was a very satisfying trip.

Now...we're getting on a plane tonight headed for Fairbanks. YAY! Another part of Alaska...I hope the Northern Lights will be shining. I'll take lots of pics for you!

1 comment:

Kassia said...

I'm getting claustrophobic just looking at those space pods. I could never be an astronaut...