The DSC's two simulators, Everest and Pathfinder, are not equipped for 40 campers so InfiniD's Titan mobile simulator was called into service. I hadn't seen the Titan in action for quite some time so I stopped by the DSC on my way home from my Saturday morning hike up and down the Timp Cave trail (twice I might add. Gasping is allowed now).
I heard the unmistakable sounds of kids having a great time the moment I stepped out of the car. For those of you unfamiliar with space center missions you'd expect to hear a few screams mixed with lots of voices passing information and opinions at a rapid fire pace. Phasers blasts and torpedo explosions are common fare. Those with even the most rudimentary imagination will experience an overwhelming urge to drop whatever they're doing to join in the fun.
Standing outside the Titan's entrance was a DSC intern poised and ready to play the role of galactic bad guy. He was dressed for the part and armed with an ACME photon blaster with night vision and multipac. Curiously is the word I'll use to describe how he looked at me when I walked up the ramp and asked permission to peak in. Obviously he didn't know WHO I was so a brief explanation was given.
Titan Mission Control is as small as it needs to be to give maximum room to the crew. Claire was the flight director for the overnight camp. "This ship needs someone small like me to flight direct. No one else can squeeze into the compartment," she joked. I suggested a notice be hung by the control room door similar to those found on the thrill rides at amusement parks. The notice would say that anyone wanting to fly the Titan should be no taller than 4 feet, with a waist size indicating multiple missed meals.
|Peeking into the Titan from the back entrance|
|The five forward stations. The captain sits in the center, right in front of the air conditioner - of course.|
|The ship as seen from the front|
The Titan's overnight crew found the sun extra bright after having spent over seven hours in the blackness of space. Can you believe the Titan holds a crew of nine! Great things come in small packages.
Entering the school, I found Pathfinder Flight Director Emma having a good time with her rambunctious crew. She was reviewing their points and about to issue their final score when I walked in to take the picture. Emma flew a mission called "Premonition". They did well and left the ship very happy campers indeed.
The overnight camp crew of the Starship Everest. They are armed with the latest in space weaponry - the Photon Blaster 3000 Delux. No space pirate stands a chance against the 3000 model blaster. I wanted a picture of them in uniform but stepped into the ship too late. It was 10:00 A.M. and time for them to return to reality
Some Traditions Never Die
The DSC overnight camp ended just like we use to end camps at the CMSEC. The campers were given a camp survey. The bottom of the survey had a section where the camper could reward the staff and volunteers he thought did an outstanding job and deserved a tip taken from his camp tuition.
The staff and interns lined up against the cafeteria wall. Each took a turn saying his or her name and what they did on the camp. Everyone claps once after each introduction.
OK Space Center old timers, look at the two pictures below. Don't they bring back memories of campers gathering their sleeping bags, pillows, and backpacks then searching for a parent to take on a tour of the ships?
What an opportunity these kids have to get to do an overnight camp at a space center!
And let me add this....
Discovery Space Center has an AWESOME staff directed by capable, caring, and talented leaders. The staff and interns are welcoming, attentive to the campers, friendly in every situation, and expertly trained in handling the equipment and campers. Everyone I talk to about the DSC tells me how impressed they are with the staff. Good Job to the staff and interns of DSC!
I'm just guessing of course :)
Have a Great Weekend,
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