Tag Archives: Smithsonian

DC Was Fantastic Now onto Houston!

The Space Center student experience has been so busy and so much fun I simply haven’t had time to blog about it and for that I do apologize! The last few days in DC were filled with some incredible experiences such as a tour of Goddard Space Flight Center (including getting to see the James Webb Telescope being built), a tour of the monuments in Washington DC, a wander past the White House (unfortunately they are not doing tours of there currently) a trip to the American History Museum, a tour of the Air & Space Smithsonian that is on the National Mall, a visit to Downtown Annapolis as well as around the US Naval Academy and some more great encounters with some really interesting people including Piers Sellers.ImageImage
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Everyone realized that we could have spent a month in the DC area and still not seen absolutely everything so while we were sad to leave DC we had an incredible time there and are looking forward to our next stop…. Houston and the Johnson Space Center!

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Day 2 of the June Space Center Experience

Being in Washington DC makes for a prime opportunity to see the heart of the US Government so we arranged for the students to be able to take a tour of the US Capitol Building. 

But first to start the “events” of the day we headed to lunch near the Capitol Building with Astronaut George “Zambo” Zamka.

It was a great treat for the students to get to hear stories of his spaceflight and to get to ask him questions about how he came to be an astronaut, what made him want to become a pilot and anything else that came to mind to ask. Definitely a great opportunity!

After that it was time for The Capitol Tour where we got to see various parts of this incredible building including The Crypt as well as The Rotunda. The art and architecture of the whole place is absolutely incredible. 

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Rotunda

We learned about the history of The Capitol and how it has changed over the years. One thing of interest is that every state is allowed to have 2 statues in the Capitol at any given time. We thought it quite telling that Colorado chose this statue as 1 of the 2 allowed to represent them. 

 

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In addition to the tour we got the opportunity to go and sit in on actual sessions of Congress in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Talk about a great chance to see government in action! 

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Unfortunately the weather was not particularly cooperative today so instead of touring all of the monuments that are outside we walked to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum instead and checked out all that had to offer.

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Apparently today wasn’t a day of just 1 astronaut… it was a 2 astronaut day as the group had dinner with astronaut Ken Ham where the students got the chance to ask him even more questions about why he became an astronaut.  

All in all I think it’s safe to say that it was a day full of unique opportunities and everyone had a great time! And it’s only Day 2… there are so many more to go!! Stay tuned!!

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Space Center Experience June 2013

One of the many incredible programs offered by ISSET is the Space Center Experience where students can come and visit the NASA Space Centers in the Washington DC area, Florida and Houston. Trips could include 1, 2 or even all of these options. Additionally it’s possible to create a custom experience as happened recently with a group who wanted to see New York City. 
http://isset.org/NASA_space_centre_visits/

The latest Space Center experience is underway with some UK University students – first stop on the tour… Washington DC!

On the first full day the students started off in a stellar excursion to the National Air & Space Museum UDvar Hazy extension at Dulles Airport where they got to see hundreds of amazing airplanes and perhaps the most majestic sight of all…. Space Shuttle Orbiter Discovery. While their they got an incredible tour from a very knowledgable docent who worked as a Chemical Engineer at Cape Canaveral during the Mercury and Gemini programs.Image

Love this picture
http://instagram.com/p/aqc9OGKaaX/

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After the tour the students got to partake in a flight simulator that “took them on a tour” of the International Space Station.

Next stop on the trip was Arlington National Cemetery.  Arlington Cemetery honors those who have fallen in battle fighting for their country. The cemetery was also a memorable location from war film, Saving Private Ryan.

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At Arlington the students got the opportunity to see JFK’s grave with eternal flame, the changing of the guard which is a sacred and honored tradition, Memorials to the Challenger and Columbia Crews as well as a beautiful view of Washington DC.

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But the day wasn’t done after all that! For dinner we had the pleasure of the company of astronaut Ken Ham as well as Meredith Botnick who is an aerospace engineer, Navy pilot and space flight fan. Also joining us was Aaron Botnick a meteorologist and computer scientist. Needless to say it was a great dinner with fantastic conversation!

I’d say Day 1 was a success… Hope you’ll follow along for the rest of the trip!

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