Sep 9, 2012

DFAC Space Fest Grand Opening

Fresh off an all-too-quick Dragoncon, the Dunedin Fine Arts Center asked me organize a 501st Legion troop for the grand opening of their space exhibits in the children's area of the center. I explained that members have just completed a huge con (Celebration 6) and Dragoncon, and that most members are "conned out", but there were three members who stepped up to make the opening more memorable. This was an easy, relaxing troop in which we met a real astronaut!

Below: One of the largest exhibits was a mock-up of the space shuttle, with a kid-friendly cockpit inside, with a pair of monitors. Note the Death Star in the background.

The "cockpit" of the shuttle, with monitors and a space-age-type interior blanket.

"That's no moon...that's a space station!"

There was a green wall in which visitors can see themselves superimposed on space-themed backgrounds on monitors throughout the exhibit.

Below: The guest of honor was astronaut Nicole Stott, who spent 91 days in space, aboard both the ISS Space station as well as the Russian space station. After a lecture about her experiences, she posed for pictures with  visitors and was very gracious in sharing her thoughts of what being in, and returning from, space was like. 

The thing that most surprised me was that during liftoff aboard the space shuttle, one only experiences three G's of force, less than I expected. Ms. Stott told me that upon returning to earth, you feel extremely heavy, and during post-space rehabilitation, jumping over small objects seems incredibly difficult, even if you exercise while in orbit.

To read more about Nicole Stott, click HERE.

Imperial Officer Gaines interacting with a motion-sensing display

"Mom, can I have my own set of Stormtrooper armor?"

"Go ask your father, dear."

The Imperial Biker Scout at the kids' drawing table

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