Well, we all know about space but how do we get information about space? Through people who explore space like astronomers and astronauts. When I was in America last summer for two weeks, one day we decided to visit NASA. I was very happy but my father was thrilled.

In the NASA compound, outside the buildings there were many rockets and spaceships pointing upwards with detailed information about each one of them. There was something like a rocket capsule where the astronauts sit. I even went inside, sat in the capsule and tried pressing the controls in front of me like a real astronaut.

Then we went inside and saw a museum on space and astronauts with a huge rocket from the Apollo mission. Beside it there were many things like a piece of rock from the moon we could touch. I even took a picture of myself with the moon rock as a memory. There was another room with costumes of astronauts and a big picture of the Apollo 11, which was the first spacecraft to land on moon with humans inside among other things.

It was afternoon; there was a restaurant next to the museum where we had our lunch. Next was a bus tour of the actual launch sites. If we would have been lucky we could have actually seen a rocket launch with our naked eyes. There was a video in the bus on the latest breakthroughs in space research. We also got to see the ATLANTIS – it looked like a normal aircraft and hence could land like one instead of getting dropped off in the ocean in a capsule.

Next stop was the spacecraft simulator for which we had to take off all metal objects and empty our pockets. No shoes were allowed. It was a thrilling ride from takeoff to landing. Then we got on to a bus and went to the control room simulator where we sat and waited for the countdown to begin. When the countdown started the entire room was shaking and lights were glowing with monitors around showing videos of the actual rocket getting ready to launch.

Our last stop was the at the place showing a movie on the International Space Station (ISS) explaining how so many countries came together to build it. I even took a picture with a man dressed in a real astronaut suit. On my way back I saw an alligator in one of the many lakes in Cape Canaveral.

I returned home feeling inspired to become an astronaut one day. It was an amazing trip and I will never forget this trip in my life.

 

Ishita Bhagwati

5C

AVM Juhu