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Archive for space tourism

Air Power in Virginia

By Linda Tancs

Located in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic region, Hampton, Virginia, is home to Air Power Park. An outdoor park displaying restored aircraft and spacecraft, it chronicles the air power that played a vital part in America’s early space exploration and aircraft testing. Many of the park’s jets, missiles and rockets have connections with nearby Langley AFB and NASA Langley Research Center. Enjoy the outdoor displays daily from sunrise to sunset. You can also tour inside displays during regular business hours. Admission is free.

Space in New Mexico

By Linda Tancs

The New Mexico Museum of Space History highlights events in the Tularosa Basin and greater New Mexico that advanced our exploration and knowledge of space. In fact, many major breakthroughs in technology occurred in the Alamogordo area, some calling it the cradle of America’s space program. The museum’s more celebrated objects include a very large moon rock and rare replicas of the first man-made satellites, Sputnik and Explorer.

Rocket City

By Linda Tancs

Once coined the “Watercress Capital of the World,” Huntsville, Alabama, is now known as Rocket City. That’s because it’s the place where America’s space program was born—where the rockets were developed that put the first U.S. satellite into orbit and sent men to the moon. It’s where the power for today’s space shuttle was developed and where the modules for the International Space Station were designed and built. It’s also where America’s next great ship, the Space Launch System, is being designed. NASA’s Space Launch System will be the most powerful rocket ever built. When completed, SLS will enable astronauts to begin their journey to explore destinations far into the solar system. Since 1970 more than 16 million people have toured Huntsville’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center. General admission to the center includes access to historic Shuttle Park, Rocket Park and all indoor exhibit areas such as the main museum atrium and the Davidson Center for Space Exploration.

The Quietest Place in America

By Linda Tancs

Green Bank, West Virginia is a tiny speck of a town where you could hear a pin drop.  That’s because it’s located in the National Radio Quiet Zone, an area designed to protect the powerful radio telescopes in the area from interference.  Green Bank boasts the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the largest fully steerable telescope on Earth.  If you seek a break from the world of Wi-Fi, then this is the place to be.  Just one mile from the astronomy observatory you can stay at one of three original log cabins that were built in 1810.

Time and Space

By Linda Tancs

It’s been 50 years since former astronaut John Glenn orbited the earth in a historic mission.    Such an auspicious anniversary merits a visit to the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  Here you’ll find the world’s largest collection of personal memorabilia from our space heroes, along with a G-Force Trainer (simulating the pressure of four times the force of gravity) and a space shuttle landing simulation.  Junior astronauts can climb a moon rock wall, crawl through rocket tunnels and slide to the surface of the moon at the Children’s Play Dome.  Not to be missed is the Space Mirror Memorial, a 42-1/2-foot-high-by-50-foot-wide black granite surface emblazoned with the names of the 24 U.S. astronauts who gave their lives for space exploration as well as the astronauts from training and commercial airplane accidents.

The Hidden Cost of Air Traffic Delays

By Linda Tancs

So what’s a little $9.4 billion among friends?  That’s the amount of economic loss that the U.S. Dept. of Transportation estimates is lost due to air traffic delays.  Maybe that’s why galactic travel is gaining interest these days.  It costs less and traffic is light.

Space Tourism

By Linda Tancs

Surveys show that space tourism is very popular.  Alas, only those with $20 million or so to spare can actually partake in a trip to the international space station.  For the “average” traveler, the closest thing to space travel was probably Concorde.  At an altitude of 60,000 miles, you got the same “Star Trek” effect.  Double the distance, and you can train for Virgin Galactic.  Beam me up, Scotty.

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