## 8 erect rockets and my son wants to shop

My young son and I stand in line, holding our special promotional can of Coke which allows for 1 FREE 2-day pass into the Kennedy Space Center for a kid with an accompanying adult (a \$28.00 savings). We look to the far left and gasp as we see the Rocket Garden, comprising 8 “original erected rockets” that have been retired. We look to the far right and see a life-sized replica of the space shuttle, with people actually walking INTO the shuttle to tour. And in front of us, a huge sign “The World’s Largest Space Shop.”

My son screams, “Look Mommy, a gift shop … let’s go here first!” As a parent I’m mortified, horrified and wonder “what the hell is wrong with my son?” Then I realize that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – i.e. Confessions of a Shopaholic. Like duh, my blog says it all and I’m wondering why he likes to shop!!!

I blame myself, but I also blame television, marketing executives (of which I, too, am one) and public relation specialists. Today’s kids thrive on “stuff.” My hat goes off to the company that manages the entire Kennedy Space Center. To my surprise, every free publication and schedule clearly states that “no government funding is used to support or run the Kennedy Space Center.” It is contracted out to an independent company that knows how to sap dollars from consumers.

Let me give you 2 examples: Every single main attraction has its own gift shop adjacent to the exit. You cannot exit without going through the gift shop. My guess is that approximately 3500 ***different*** items are sold. About 40 different t-shirts, my favorite being the t-shirt that says on the front

“Just what part don’t you understand”

V2=Vp=r1 x v1 x sin @1/Rp

Fd=Cd x P x (v2/2) x A

Nm=v/c

C=SQRT {k x R x T}

P=m x v

F=dp/dt

It's ONLY Rocket Science

(see below for the answers)

I HAD to buy this for grandpa, as he really IS a retired rocket scientist and will hopefully love this shirt. I didn’t care that I spent over \$20.00 for it!

Another example was my sons favorite (which I made him pay \$11.00 of his OWN hard earned \$\$\$ towards the present). It is a modeling kit to assemble of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet carrying the space shuttle. That cost \$19.99 but my son at least will appreciate it since he had to pay for ½ himself.

Lunch, did I tell you about my tuna fish pita sandwich which cost \$8.99 (with NO chips or fries) and my son’s personal cheese pizza for \$7.99. Our 12 ounce bottle of water was \$3.00. Marketing and sucking \$\$\$ out of consumers clearly is what funds the Kennedy Space Center. Not too mention the admission price.

But if you were to ask me “Would you go again, knowing how outrageously expensive it is?” My answer would be “in a heart-beat.” The education is invaluable, the quest for knowledge immense, and the hope for my daughter to be the 1st female astronaut on Mars in 25 years from today would make me the proudest Mom ever!

She has her graduation ceremony from camp tomorrow. I can’t wait to see the Mars rover that they built, and all the other cool science experiments that they learned. Did I mention that she even got to have lunch with Astronaut Gerald P. Carr, who commanded Skylab 4 (third and final manned visit to the Skylab Orbital Workshop) launched November 16, 1973, and concluded February 8, 1974. This was the longest manned flight (84 days, 1 hour, 15minutes) in the history of manned space exploration to date.

I can’t wait for my daughter to have credentials as those listed above, with the slight exception stating “She was the first women to travel safely and return from Mars.”

In case you are NOT a rocket science, the answers are:

Escape Velocity

To pin down a satellite's orbit in space, need to know the angle @ from the periapsis point to the launch point.

The drag Fc on a body is calculated by the equation.

Mach number is given by.

Thrust.

momentum, of a particle is the product of its mass and its velocity.

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