Imagine taking 118 German rocket scientists fresh from surrendering at the end of WWII and plunking them in the middle of Huntsville Alabama. A recipe for great comedy, and success. How successful? Well, when we say, ‘reach for the moon’, we don’t actually mean it literally. These men; they did mean it literally. They meant it so literally, that they actually got us there.

After the arrival of the invading hoards of German geniuses, Huntsville, being a child of the South, welcomed them with open arms. They also took the opportunity to rename their fine city, Rocket City. Take a trip to The NASA Marshall Flight Space Cent(r)er and you’ll see why they did.

First of all: Space Camp! There is actually a Space Camp for kids! Really. I always believed that it was a construct of situation comedies to mock the geeky children. Evidently, no. It’s real and it’s there and I saw it and kids go there and learn things. Exceptional when art imitates life.

Secondly, when we were touring the facilities (see pics below), we came across a moon rock. I really never get tired of them. Who would? HUMAN BEINGS WENT TO THE MOON!!! WE LEFT THE EARTH AND WENT SOMEWHERE ELSE!!! Even if it was just to play a round of golf, we did it. I know this moon-walking ‘theory’ has its detractors.  I like to call them, crazies.  While we were admiring the moon rock, a man who worked* there came up to us. “You know last week,” he said, ” a guy came in here and said that the moon landing was fake.  He’s crazy.  I know we went to the moon.  I just don’t think that rock is 3 billion years old.”  Oy vey.  Moon landing happened.  Creationism did, too.  Sigh.  One myth at a time, Lisa.  Winning is busting  one myth at a time.

The Cent(r)er was full of rockets and science. Ironically, it was also filled with hope and promise. Most of the exhibits were designed before the wise Obama decided in his Infinite Wisdom that science and exploration, and I paraphrase here again, suck. Because imagination doesn’t lead to progress. Because inspiration doesn’t spring from example and success. Because innovation just doesn’t get you votes.

Despite my being preachy and a bit down, I was heartened by watching all of the children there; learning, hoping, dreaming, striving. After all, they are the ones who are going to bring us back, aren’t they?

*The gentleman who worked at the Space Cent(r)er wore a full NASA jumpsuit, which, clearly, gave us the impression and him the authority that he worked there.  Later on that same day, Rob and I discoverd that those same jumpsuits were available for purchase inthe gift shop.  I smell my first conspiracy…