Sunday, November 18, 2007

Lost in Space

We tried to go to family night and NASA-Ames last night. We actually physically got there, all four of us for a change, and it was just a mob scene. The exhibits were spread out all over the NASA campus, so far from each other that they had a shuttle running to take people from one to the next. It was kind of cool seeing how many people had turned out for this geek-fest (I guess my son is not the only person whose TV of choice is the NASA channel) but the flip side of these crowds was the basic impossibility of getting very close to anything interesting. The line of people waiting to get into the Visitor's Center was positively Disney-esque. No Way.

I heard about this evening from a friend who teaches astronomy. She was pretty excited about it, because she had heard that the theme was going to be the upcoming lunar expeditions that NASA-Ames will be participating in. Apparently they are also going to be trying to get backyard astronomers involved, because the rockets that orbit the moon will be clearly visible with binoculars or telescopes at certain points in their orbit.

It all sounds really wonderful, and for all I know there was some place, somewhere in the middle of it all, where you could get actual information, but all I know is I never found it.

We did manage to catch a cool robotics display, with a robot made by some Girl Scouts (all right! "We're Girl Scouts and we come to NASA to build our robots.") It scooted around at dizzying speeds, and picked up a pool tube without puncturing it. That was fun, but I'm not sure it justified the drive and the parking and the overall fatigue that the rest of the evening generated.

Maybe I'll try another one in two years or so.


Post a Comment

<< Home