Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. Thomas Merton

Friday, January 30, 2009

One small step. . .

...the adventures of a Flat Stanley in Huntsville.

Hi. My name is Flat Shannana and I'm from Memphis. I'm one of those Flat Stanley dolls that school kids mail to friends around the country to visit various places and get information and pictures sent back to them for a geography project. One of the places I got sent was to Huntsville where I had adventures in both the 1800's and in the Space Age. Here's some of the stuff I did when my helpers took me to the Space and Rocket Center.

First, I get to see some exhibits about Dr. Werner von Braun. He is one of my heroes. Here is a picture of me with a picture of him. I tell him my secret wish. He says he'll do his best to make it come true because he spent his life pursuing his dream and he thinks folks should have the chance to see their dreams fulfilled like his were.

I visit more exhibits where I learn about the history of rockets and space travel. Here I am sitting in the seat of one of the Project Mercury capsules from the early days of the American space program.

I'm so excited! This is where astronauts like Alan Shepard and John Glenn sat when they made some of America's very first trips into space. Take a look at this control panel.

This is just part of it. It stretches all the way across the cockpit. Compare it with the modern space shuttle cockpit in the next picture.

My next stop is the rocket park where I pick out a rocket for my dream trip.

Of course, I choose the Saturn V, the rocket that sent the astronauts to the moon.

Just look at those engines!

Now it's time for me to get my space suit on.

Here I am in the remote handling arm, all set for my Space Shot and ready to launch.

I can hardly believe it. My dream of one day being the first Flat Stanley on the Moon is about to come true. Here I am getting help once again from the remote handling arm to get down from the lunar landing module.

And here I am. Flat Shannana has landed!

I want give a big thank you to all the folks who helped me be the first Flat Stanley on the Moon. Thank you, Anna, for making me. Thank you, Miss Midge, for sending me to your friend, Miss Melissa. Thank you, Miss Melissa, for taking me to the Space and Rocket Center. Thank you, Dr. Von Braun, for your important role in the development of the US space program, and for giving me, a simple Flat Stanley, the courage to pursue my dream. Thanks to Miss Alice, Miss Melissa, and Mr. John for providing remote handling arms. And thank you, thank you to all the people at NASA, past and present, who have put all the countless hours into the work that has made it possible for my dream to come true. I had a great time and will never forget this experience.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Time Management

I guess I'm whining. I just can't manage to find the time for a new post. Sorry for the same ol' thing up for so long. I guess I'll just find a photo to add to this so we can all enjoy something else for a change.

I'm a fan of Patrick O'Brian who wrote the Master and Commander series of twenty novels about life in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, featuring the friendship between Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin who serves as ship's surgeon. The beautiful sailing ship in the photo is the Rose which was used in the movie "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World." If you enjoy historical novels that deal with naval history, I recommend this series. The movie was pretty cool, too. Here's a picture of Russell Crowe as Captain Jack in the movie.