Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Intrepid-SpaceFest-The Shuttle Enterprise (& NASA)

Like all of you I read of the impending SpaceFest at the Intrepid celebrating the opening of the new space shuttle exhibit. Like many of you I thought How cool! Yesterday I went to NYC to the Intrepid to see the space shuttle. Like Lady Liberty, the Empire State building, and the Museum of Modern Art, the Intrepid is something everyone should see; the addition of the Enterprise is just one more reason and for me, all I needed.

What made this weekend a touch cooler than any other weekend was NASA. There were exhibits and representatives there explaining how things work, what NASA is up to now (more than you think!) and what tomorrow brings.

The people from NASA who ran the exhibits weren’t just casual workers who memorized some words on some obscure topic; they were the real thing. I met one young lady who spoke with me about LCRD (Laser Communications Relay Demonstration), a project that NASA hopes will transform communications.

At another exhibit there was a practical demonstration of dark matter through the use of jelly beans. Showcased was NASA’s vision of robotics. And there were dozens more - informative, some hands on, some were instructive, and then there were the flight simulators.

The Intrepid itself was fantastic - the helicopters through the ages, the gear from WWII (when the helmets weren’t solid), the many planes (they had a MiG - remember in Top Gun?) a submarine off to the right of the Intrepid with a surface launch missile. Every little detail big and small was a wonder and I couldn’t have time for it all.

But the shuttle, there are no words. Yes I loved just being in the presence of the Enterprise, but the videos that were going on and the displays of photographs and the explanations below them: the history.

If I go back, and I think I will, I plan to take advantage of the tours. They have one for just the Intrepid and another for the Shuttle and many more.

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