This week pretty much everyone is celebrating
and commemorating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 launch and
the first manned mission to land on the Moon.
And today, July 17 -the same day Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin Buzz Aldrin made their first TV transmission from Earth to space – United Airlines is hosting a special celebration flight from Newark Liberty International (EWR) airport to Houston’s Georg Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).
The Watergate package includes a one-night stay on the Top of
the Gate rooftop bar in a Glamping Globe outfitted by Terra Glamping, a
nightcap with Tang cocktails, s’mores and a house-made moon pie; a moonlit yoga
class; the opportunity to name a star; sunrise breakfast, souvenir map of the
constellations on July 20, 1969; and access to a top-floor suite. (To book,
call: (855) 290-6832)
In Seattle, the NASA Apollo 11 command module, Columbia, and other artifacts from the Smithsonian’s Institution’s Destination Moon exhibit are on view through September 2 at the Museum of Flight. To celebrate, guests at the five-star Four Seasons Hotel Seattle will receive space-themed amenities, key cards and Moon-themed space toys, while guests at the Hyatt Regency Seattle will be greeted by a 20-foot-tall inflatable astronaut in the lobby. Both hotels have Apollo-11 themed cocktails as well.
Space Coast check-in
Along Florida’s Space Coast there are a
long list of special exhibits and events at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor
Complex at Merritt Island; an Astronaut Walking Pub Crawl on July 12 in
Cocoa Village and, on July 13, an Astronaut Parade in Cocoa Beach and a free
concert at Riverside Park at Cocoa Village. To celebrate, guests booking the 50th
Anniversary of the Moon Landing package at the Quality Inn & Suites
Cocoa Beach July 11-14 will receive commemorative t-shirts.
The most over the top is being offered by the Post Oak Hotel
at Uptown Houston. The two-night, three-day package costs $10,000 and includes
a round-trip private helicopter ride between the hotel and Ellington Field; a
private lunch and guided tour of the Johnson Space Center with an astronaut; $300
food and beverage credit at the hotel and Grounding Ritual treatments at the
You to the Moon & Back” package at the Hotel Derek, includes a
moon-inspired welcome cocktail, specially created moon chocolates, personalized
horoscope, breakfast in bed and complimentary valet parking (Available July
1-31, Rates start at $189 on weekends, $259 midweek).
During July, Houston’s Hotel Alessandra is offering a weekend package that includes an
overnight stay, freeze dried ice cream, a NASA Archives coffee table book plus
$50 food and beverage credit in the space-shuttle inspired Lucienne restaurant
or chic Bardot lounge. (Rates start at $434).
At the space-themed Marriott Marquis Houston, July’s Mission
to the Moon package includes a Moon Melt Massage and a $50 resort credit, which
you might use towards one of the special “Over the Moon” cocktails. (Rates
start at $454).
The Visit Houston website lists lots
more Space City Month events and hotel
packages as well tips finding cosmic cocktails like the Space City Sour at the
Bayou & Bottle bar the Four Seasons Hotel – Houston that features a far out
image of a man on the moon
etched on the surface of the cocktail.
It’s a nice reward for making it through a
long day of traveling. And soon – perhaps by October – astronauts heading to
the International Space Station (ISS) will be rewarded with fresh baked cookies
Plans are in place to launch Doubletree cookie
dough into space as part of a payload heading for the International Space
Station. The dough will then baked on route inside a special prototype oven
created by Zero G Kitchen, a company
determined to create kitchen appliances for use in space.
Why cookies? Well, it seems scientists
were looking for way to make space more welcoming and realized Doubletree’s
cookies are something that already connotes ‘welcome’ to millions of travelers
here on the ground.
Zero G Kitchen and NanoRacks, a company that provides commercial access to space, have worked up a cooking technology that adheres to NASA safety standards. The test oven is fully built, it has passed all three phases of the rigorous NASA safety review and has been handed over to NASA for launch.
Transportation for the cookies and the test oven will be aboard one of cargo flights that regularly supply the International Space Station, either on a SpaceX Dragon or a Northrop Grumman Cygnus.
Zero G Kitchen chefs aren’t completely sure
what temperature the dough will need to be heated to, and for how long, once
it’s in space. But the chefs say they’ll be in contact with the astronauts
throughout the process for feedback on baking time and temperature,
launch date has been set yet, but the team is working with NASA to confirm the
exact ISS payload it will be a part of – possibly in October.
Sounds right that chocolate chip cookies should be the first things baked space. Once they have the technology down, though, what should they cook next?
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum has launched “Apollo at the Park,” a project that will place 15 replica statues of Neil Armstrong’s iconic Apollo 11 spacesuit in major league ballparks across country.
National Park in Washington, D.C. got its statue this week.
Here are the rest of the team parks where statues will appear this summer at part of Apollo at the Park.
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
San Francisco Giants
Tampa Bay Rays
What’s the connection between space and baseball and that photo above? According to the Smithsonian:
“In the late 1950s, workers at the U.S. Naval Air Material Center in Philadelphia took to a makeshift field in some interesting uniforms — B.F. Goodrich Mark IV spacesuits. The game was staged as a flexibility demonstration for the spacesuit. The final score of the baseball game is unknown, but the Mark IV would evolve to become the original Project Mercury spacesuit, a definite home run!“
And for stats fans, the National Air & Space Museum offer this:
*A ballpark stadium seat is roughly the same size at the Apollo 11 seat that Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins sat in for three days on their journey to the moon.
*The Apollo 11 landing site, Tranquility Base, and the lunar area that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin explored is roughly the size of a baseball diamond.
The giant complex houses the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, an IMAX theater, a Rocket Garden and lots more.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center also has a great gift shops.
Here are some of the favorite items I found, including astronaut pens, t-shirts featuring dogs and cats dressed for space, shuttle key rings, NASA mugs (of course) – and lettuce seeds for when people land on Mars and need to start planting food for the future.
Have you been to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center? Tell us about your favorite exhibits- and the cool souvenirs – you found there.