We were already at the gate bound for
Nashville, TN. A car rental was already reserved at Nashville airport
for our trip to the Jack Daniels distillery at Lynchburg, TN. But
Marina Gurrizzan, the work agent for the Houston flight convinced us to take
her flight instead!
So, Peter and I were rerouted and our car
rental at Nashville was transferred to Houston for our trip to the
Space Center. The travel
time from the airport to the center was about one (1) hour and another half
hour for traffic.
At the space center, we had a tour of the
original command station. The tour guide informed us that the combined
computing power of the whole command center was just about 500 bytes (or
kilobytes). Hence, our cellular phones had 10x to 20x more computing
power. The engineers at that time computed flight paths, apogee,
perigee, etc. with the aid of a
slide rule and
everything had to be done long-hand.
We also saw the full mock-up size of the
space shuttle and the Canada arm. On the field, we saw the Mars rover
and an armadillo.
The final part of the trip was a tour of the
last Saturn V that was
supposed to carry cancelled
On our way back to the airport, traffic at
Houston freeway was very bad that we almost missed our return flight.
We were running like mad dogs and as a matter of fact, from the airport
security checkpoint, I was only able to fix my shoe lace and my belt inside
The space center and the traffic/airport
mishap were opposite experiences but all was worth it.