Celebrating the First Galileo. The Space Center's First Moving Simulator
Last Sunday I told you I found a box of old photos. This was one of them.
It's a photo of a young Fish, David Kyle Herring, tinkering around with the Space Center's newest simulator, the Galileo I. This photograph was taken in 1999. The Galileo I was David Kyle's brain child. He built the first version at Sunset View Elementary in Provo. We purchased the simulator from the school and moved it piece by piece to Pleasant Grove where it could be properly used. David Kyle came with the Galileo as a package deal.
Today I'll continue the Way Back theme and show you a few more pictures of the very first Galileo taken in 1999.
|The Galileo was named after the NASA spacecraft|
The Galileo came to the Space Center as a box without the nose cone. The nose cone was added for two reasons: 1) We needed to hide the main viewer (TV) and a few other electronic components. 2) Aesthetics; the Galileo sat in the school's new cafeteria addition. We couldn't have a box ship with a TV hanging on the front wall for all to see in such a high traffic area.
Kyle Herring and Dan Adams, Central's principal, built and attached the nose cone out of plywood and layer upon layer of putty for the rounded bits and seams.
A hatch was needed to service the electronic bits and to turn the main viewer on and off.
|The inside of the nose cone.|
The Galileo opened without the two side engines. They were added shortly afterwards. Putting it on wheels was another cool feature. The ship was light enough to be moved by one person with a bit of muscle. The Galileo staff had to be careful not to push the ship too close to the walls or support beams. One mistaken shove could damage or remove the nose cone.
The Galileo carpeted walls, ceiling, and floor
This is how the ship looked on opening day. I believe the chairs were original. The dot matrix printer was on the floor between the front two stations.
|The back two stations. The Galileo held five.|
The Galileo's appearance was greatly improved by the addition of fake plastic front and side windows, two warp nacelles, a new entrance with ramp, and artistic exterior work. It was an impressive ship and well loved by the campers.
In 2001 new IMac computers and office chairs were installed greatly improving the interior appearance of the simulator.
The ship's number, NX1999, reflected the year the simulator opened.
|The Galileo's warp engines glowed blue in flight|
|The Galileo drew too much power from the cafeteria's circuits. The breakers kept flipping when we turned on the ship. The solution was to plug part of the simulator into a electrical plug in the hallway which drew power from a difference circuit box.|
|The control room was in the back of the ship concealed behind two cabinet doors.|
Sadly, the first Galileo was sold for a couple hundred dollars as scrap when the new Galileo was built. It was last seen dismantled and in the back of a large truck. We'd hoped it would go to a warm, loving home, but that wasn't the case.
The new USS Galileo is a marvel, continuing the proud work of its predecessor.
The new Galileo holds six and is available for field trips, camps, and private parties. Contact the Space Center for more information. Spacecenter.alpineschools.org.
Consider yourself lucky if you had the privilege to fly in the first Galileo. Sure, it had its ups and downs. Sure there were times we wanted to torch it for a hotdog and marshmallow roast. Truth be told, there were many overnight camp staff and volunteer discussions centered on the best way to send the ship into retirement. The favorite by far was to truck the ship up a hill, stick in a crew of staff, and let it go for one last wild ride! It would have been a mission no one forgot (if they survived that is).
Cheers to the Galileo. The wonderful little simulator that could!
See more cool pictures of the first Galileo here.
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