|The Cause of Saturday's Wrinkle in Space Time|
James, Christine, Stacy, Mike, Erin, and Rachel
Did you feel that shiver of space time yesterday? I sure did. I was driving home from Renaissance Space Academy (I was there planning for my new online curriculum - thanks coronavirus) when the car slightly shuddered. I immediately knew one of two things had happened. Either two black holes just merged in the debts of space or legends of the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center had gathered in one place at one time.
Acting on a hunch, I drove straight to the Space Center (after stopping to pick up an obligatory Dr. Pepper for Jon Parker) in a quest for answers and found my hunch was spot on, there gathered on the Magellan Bridge were absolute legends of the Space Center's past; some of my most favorite people on the planet - people who, in their day, were the face and spirit of the Center.
I intruded on their Magellan mission to pay my deepest respects and beg them for a snapshot or two. Happily they granted my respect and repeated genuflecting.
Stacy Harken (formally Stacy Carrell) was the captain. In her day Stacy was the Galileo Set Director and a decorated flight director trainer. With her was her husband Mike.
|Stacy in the First Odyssey's Control Room|
Working beside Stacy was Christine the Great, a former Odyssey Set Director and outstanding flight director trainer.
|Christine at the height of her power.|
Christine was accompanied by her husband James. James and Christine met at the Space Center, fell in love, and married. In fact, it was Christine who trained James in the art of flight directing before they were an item.
|Christine presenting James with his flight directing blue back in the day|
|James Smith, proud to be an Odyssey Flight Director|
Making up the crew was outstanding flight director and trainer Rachel Harken. Rachel and Stacy have been best friends since they first met at the Space Center. Stacy even married Rachel's brother.
|Rachel and Stacy pondering over some pressing summer camp problem.|
|Rachel helping with the new Galileo's outfitting|
And completing this conclave of former Space Center awesomeness was Erin Fordham. Erin was a talented, gifted sci-fi and fantasy enthusiast who found a perfect home at the Space Center and an embracing flock of birds of the same feather. She always gave her all in her roles. I reminded her of the time when I called an ambulance on her behalf (one of the three times I had to call 911 during my 23 years at the Space Center's helm). She had dislodged her kneecap during an acting scene and was in terrible pain. She gave our makeshift Magellan sickbay (cots in the Discovery Room) a real purpose.
|Erin as a young volunteer back in the day|
|There they are, the Quartet of Awesomeness sitting together in the cool place at the back of the room during a Saturday morning after overnighter meeting|
|Great people and great memories|
And who had the horrific task of crewing this mission of Greats?
Plotting their demise from the Magellan Control Room was James' brother Jordan as flight director. Making up the staff of excellence was Ian McOmber in the frills and Mason Perry the Space Center's resident Time Lord. They were making up a mission as they went along.
This mission was Stacy, Rachel, Erin, James, and Christine's final goodbye to the old center they loved before its demolition this spring.
Seeing them together again brought back many happy memories.
Just Look at the New Space Center
What you see below is the new Space Center. Construction is going fast. The planetarium's roof rises proudly over the new center and school. The six simulators will sit under the planetarium (directly under the green outer lining)
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