Space

OH, the places we’d go

We’re so close to getting on the vaccination list that we’re making lists of places we’d go if we could somewhere now.

Out for Krispy Kreme doughnuts

Here’s a great reason to vaccinated and head out for a snack.

Krispy Kreme is offering anyone who shows their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card a free Original Glazed doughnut every day this year.

Not getting vaccinated? You should. But Krispy Kreme says you can still get some free doughnuts if you stop by Mondays, 3/29/21 – 5/24/21. On those days they’ll be handing a free Original Glazed® doughnut and a medium brewed coffee.

To Paisely Park to see Prince’s Ashes

Prince has been gone just about five years now.

Paisley Park, Prince’s former estate and production complex in suburban Minneapolis, is now a museum and a recording studio. And on the fifth anniversary of this death – April 21 – Paisley Park will be opening the Paisley Park Atrium for free so that a limited number of fans can pay tribute to Prince and see the urn that holds his ashes. For those unable to visit in person, an online memorial will be available.

While at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), we’d stop in at the Prince store too.

The Rocket Garden at Kennedy Space Center

Among the many great attractions at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Rocket Garden is said to be the most photographed.

This week the garden got it first new ‘planting’ since the early 2000s: The United Launch Alliance’s Delta Rocket II.

How does it land a spot here alongside rockets and space vehicles from NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs?

Delta II rockets were industry workhorses, launching 155 times from 1989-2018. They carried satellites for the Global Positioning System (GPS) and put NASA’s rovers Spirit and Opportunity and the Phoenix Mars Lander into space.

Stuck at The Airport: Mars edition

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is set to touch down on the Red Planet on Thursday, February 18th.

Earthlings are pretty darn excited.

At Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the famous LAX pylons are glowing red in anticipation of the landing.

Many other sites and landmarks around the world, including Cleveland’s historic Terminal Tower, are also glowing red in anticipation of the landing.

Krispy Kreme is celebrating the landing too with a special Mars doughnut. This chocolate cream-filled doughnut is dipped in caramel icing with a red planet swirl and sprinkled with chocolate cookie crumbs. The limited-edition doughnut is available in shops and online for one day only – Thursday, February 18.

And of course, you’ll want to tune in to watch NASA’s live coverage of the Perseverance Rover Landing, starting at 11:15 am PST and 2:15 EST.

Astronauts have that isolation live/work thing down

Last week was World Space Week and Viking TV (a pandemic project of Viking Cruises) offered a full week of space-themed content.

I tuned in for the “When Space is Home” panel discussion with journalist Lynn Sherr and four former astronauts.

On the list of topics: animals in space, new toilets in space, and food in space.

And tips the astronauts might have for us about dealing with isolation.

A highlighted passage from my notes includes this advice: “Spend more time choosing your interactions and make them count more.”

The panelists you’ll hear from in the video below include:

Dr. Anna Fisher – In 1984, she was the first mother in space.

 Colonel Jack Fischer – During a 2017 mission, Fischer logged 136 days in space with two spacewalks.

Dr. Richard Linnehan – The first veterinarian in space.

Barbara Morgan – She pioneered the “Teacher in Space” program and flew on Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2007.

Celebrating the Apollo 11 Moon Landing anniversary

Straight to the Moon – well, Houston.

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).

Why fly to Houston now?

Houston is also known as “Space City”  because it is home to NASA’s Mission Control Center at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.

StuckatTheAirport.com is going along on Flight 355. We’re promised space-themed entertainment, inflight gifts (yay!) and “special onboard guests who have first-hand experience in space.”

We think that means astronauts will on board…

Once we land in Houston, we’ll join Space Center Houston’s Apollo Anniversary Celebration and get to tour the Apollo Mission Control Center, among other activities.

We’ll also try to taste some of the special cocktails and menu items being served this month at two OTG restaurants at IAH that were inspired by meals the astronauts ate during the Apollo 11 mission.

The astronauts were served “meals” that look like this:

But the special “Eat Like an Astronaut” dishes on the menu at Ember Tavern and Tanglewood Grille in United Airlines’ Terminal C and E at IAH look far more appetizing:

 Stay tuned here and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for Apollo 11 celebration pictures along the way.

Apollo 11 adventures

Hotels lure Moon-landing anniversary fans with Tang-tinged cocktails, Moon Melt massages, moonlight yoga and more

July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing and the first time human beings walked on the moon.

Celebrations and special events are taking place around the country – and in a story for Travel & Leisure – I rounded up some hotels joining in with special packages and Moon-themed experiences.

Here are some of the lunar-lodging packages from that list.

In Washington D.C., where the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with special exhibits and events from July 16-20, the legendary Watergate Hotel is offering a $4,000 a night Glamping in the Moonlight package from July 16- 24.

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)

Dark side of the Moon cocktail

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.

No problems in Houston

This Lunar Roving Vehicle trainer prepared astronauts for traversing the lunar landscape. Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston.

In Houston, home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, a host of hotels are offering moon-themed packages as well.

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 hotel’s spa.

The “Love 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.