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.

Thinking about being an astronaut?

Tomorrow marks 50 years since humans first walked on the Moon. Everyone seems to be talking about astronauts, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission, where we’ve been in space and where we may go next.

Stuck at the Airport is in Houston – Space City – this week to be part of the festivities. We’re meeting with former astronauts, visting the labs that train and prepare food for astronauts and getting a first look at the restored Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

If all this space talk has got you thinking about becoming an astronaut, consider taking this Astronaut Apitude quiz filled with questions based on the official NASA Astronaut Candidate requirements and real-life psychological tests. Let us know how you score.

Houston celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Stuck at the Airport is in Houston this week, joining in the celebrations and events to honor the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar expedition.

Here are some snaps from a special United Airlines flight to Houston on July 17 and some fun stuff from on the ground. Stay tuned for pics and stories throughout the week.

United Airlines Flight 355 from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) was dubbed “MissionSpaceCity.” Regular passengers arriving at the gate in EWR were met with this giant HOUSTON sign – and some suprises.
Two former astronauts were among the special guests on board this flight: Peggy Whitson, who holds records for most days in space (665) and Kevin Ford, who is now a pilot with United.
Each passenger received some freeze-dried ice-cream as well as a small backpack filled with fun space-themed goodies.
“Spacey Casey” welcomed passengers to Houston – Space City
This mural was in the gate arrival area in Houston, as a backdrop for a celebratory press conference.
Media (including Stuck at the Airport) are being hosted at the 5-star Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston, which put together this all-chocolate welcome amenity and a special moon-themed cocktail.

Stay tuned for more…

Fresh baked cookies – in space?

If you are going to travel in space, wouldn’t it be great to have fresh baked cookies ?

Fresh baked cookies – in space

You know that chocolate chip cookie the desk clerk hands you when you check in at a DoubleTree by Hilton property?

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 as well.

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,

No official 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?

See Neil Armstrong’s space suit at the ballpark

At the U.S. Naval Air Material Center in Philadelphia, a player swings a baseball bat in a B.F. Goodrich Mark IV spacesuit. Courtesy Smithsonian Institution

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.

  • Atlanta Braves
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Cleveland Indians
  • Cincinnati Reds
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Detroit Tigers
  • Houston Astros
  • Minnesota Twins
  • New York Yankees
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
  • San Francisco Giants
  • Seattle Mariners
  • 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.