A couple of weeks before ApolloCon, I got an email asking if I wanted to have lunch with one of the guests, NASA astronaut Stanley Love. To which I naturally said, “YES PLEASE!” I also got to eat and chat with author Amy Sisson and her husband, NASA scientist Paul Abell. All three are great fun, and Love has me half-convinced to take a vacation to Antarctica one of these days.
At some point during the meal, it came up that the Johnson Space Center was only about a half-hour from the convention. I’m pretty sure I made the world’s best puppy-dog eyes upon hearing this fact…
…which led to Sunday afternoon after the convention, when Paul and Amy were kind enough to pick me up and drive me out to see NASA stuff!
I said it was like being ten years old again, but that’s not quite true. It was more like being seven. I was in first grade, almost seven years old, when the Space Shuttle Columbia completed its first mission in space. I remember all of us sitting in class, watching the launch on television. We were mesmerized. We drew pictures of the shuttle, and later that year I put together a model of Columbia.
Driving up to the space center and seeing the replica shuttle outside brought all of that awe and wonder rushing back. Getting Paul’s insight and stories over the next 3-4 hours was an amazing bonus. I’m already wondering when I can get back to Houston to see the stuff I missed this time.
And of course, there were pictures. Many pictures. The full album is on Flickr, including larger versions of the following pics. These are just some of my favorites.