The Galileo will be the only surviving ship of the Christa McAuliffe Space Center fleet. While the other simulators will be demolished by the wrecking ball, the Galileo will dock at American Heritage School in American Fork. It will be one of two simulators in the new American Heritage Space Center (AHSC) under the direction of Alex Debirk. Alex is a long time Space Center and Renaissance Space Academy volunteer and employee. Alex's daytime job is high school physics teacher at American Heritage. The upcoming AHSC will be his other full time job.
I'm happy that one of the six simulators will transition into this next generation of simulators. May the Galileo have many many more light years to come with thousands of happy crewmembers in its new home.
James Porter, Director of the Christa McAuliffe Space Center, Recognized with the Alpine District Shine Award.
He deserves it and much more. Imagine the time and effort James has had to put into creating a new Space Center. What's ahead for James? With the closing of Utah's schools for the rest of the school year, James has two weeks to strip the current Space Center of its reusable equipment before demolition begins on the current Central Elementary School. A lot of hard work tinged with sadness. James, like so many of you, grew up in those simulators.
The Void vs the Space Center.
Another in the Series of the Space Center vs Other Places
By Alex Anderson
Space Center Old Timer, Programmer, Creator of Thorium, and All Around Great Guy
|Alex and Crystal Anderson|
Crystal and I went to the Void about 6 months ago. It was really incredible. For those who don’t know, it’s a live-action VR experience. It has really good hand tracking and you can walk around plywood sets and it actually moves you in the VR world. After signing waivers, we were ushered into a room where a 5 minute video explained the setting (we did the Avenger’s experience and would be testing new Iron Man suits). A staff member brought us and two other participants to put on backpacks with computers and VR headsets. Then we started our experience.
It was pretty fun. We got to shoot robots with our laser hands; we got to see real life Avengers. And we kinda felt like we made a difference. But the whole thing was on rails. We had to move from place to place and didn’t even have the illusion of choice. If we took a wrong step, the invisible staff member would gently guide us back on track. Even if we didn’t shoot down any of the bad guys, we still would have won. There was no consequence, no investment, no emotional connection.
While some of this might sound familiar to those who run day flights (who hasn’t pushed a crew to activate their engines so they can escape at just the right moment?) I feel the Void was missing an important aspect of what the Space Centers offer — a real story with real consequences requiring real investment. We don’t just expect people to sit back and enjoy the show — go to a movie for that. We don’t intend crews to just run around and shoot each other — that what laser tag is for.
No, we expect, even demand, that crews get into character and connect with the story. We want them to feel invested in what is going on and what they are doing. We want each of them to have a moment to shine, to feel like they made a real difference in the mission, that they were a crucial part of the team. I didn’t feel any of that in the Void.
When I tell people about the Space Center, they typically raise an eyebrow and say, “That sounds… interesting.” But when they actually come and experience what we have to offer, it’s light a light turns on inside their brain. “Oh, I get it now.” The experience really does stick with them, for the reasons Mr. Williamson mentioned in his post about Disneyland vs the Space Center. “Our rides continue well beyond the time spent in the ships. The mission residue continues for years to come as stories pass from person to person on the semi-shared experience.”
Stay healthy; stay safe. Remember, I'm pullin' for ya! We're all in this together!
Celebrating the Galileo. The Only Ship to Survive
By David Kyle Herring
Today is the Galileo's Birthday. When I was 16 years old I persuaded the Provo School District Superintendent to give me $10,000 and I raised another $5,000 in donations to build my first simulator, later named the Galileo. My dad helped me start construction in my Grandmother's detached garage with plans I had personally drafted. The simulator was opened in December 1997 at Sunset View Elementary and purchased by the Space Center in December 1998.
From January 1999 to April 15, the Principle of Central Elementary, Daniel K Adams and I, added several of the exterior features and attached control room. I wrote the first flight of the Galileo 30 minutes before its telling. I had no time to test anything, let alone write and prepare the first mission. I ran into the Voyagers Control Room and grabbed video tapes for visuals and started an epic 10 plus years as a Flight Director and more at the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center.
Thank you Victor Williamson for mentoring, teaching, trusting and training this crazy kid to do some incredible things.
James Porter Takes You on a Last Walk Through the Christa McAuliffe Space Center Before Demolition.
The best videos from around the world edited for a gentler audience