This post is the work of Headley Wilson and Carolyn Flax, and has been minimally edited by your faithful blog author.
As the sun rose on the Middletown campus of Lord Fairfax Community College, hoards of half-asleep teens boarded two buses headed towards the National Air and Space Museum in Dulles, Virginia. The teens listened to the soothing voice of Kurt give his lecture regarding how all passengers should not eat on the coach or throw any trash onto its marvelous floors. Kurt continued to inform all passengers to pull the sunscreens down from the middle and not the sides, due to the potential debt of $107 that one could be facing. Soon enough, the Middletown geniuses (Mr. Hess calls us that!) were joined by their Warrenton comrades, and the Mountain Vista students bubbled with excitement during the journey to the Udvar-Hazy center. The prospect of extra knowledge was almost too much to handle.
Once at the museum, the adolescent scholars were escorted to the IMAX theatre for a showing of Destiny in Space. The students learned many things about space travel from the film, including the ways it would suck to be an astronaut. When the movie was over the youngsters split up; some headed for tours of the museum, while others had some free time. An hour and a half later, the other half of the teens took their tours. The tours were fascinating and taught the students about many different facets of flying, both inside and outside of our atmosphere. I am very jealous that Eric Forman was not my tour guide, since he is a main character on one of my favorite shows of all time, but Phil was an awesome replacement.
Phil provided us with a plethora of information. He showed us planes that were powered by fuel, solar energy, and even bicycles. However, one of the planes that stood out was not just a plane, but it served as a car as well. The designer of this plane had to fly to a lot of small cities and areas that did not have a lot of taxis. So, since building a plane-car seems like the logical solution, he went for it. His idea proved to be successful and very cool but apparently people don’t find plane-cars to be very practical, so his design was never adopted.
A more recent project that the United States is working on is the Mars rovers. The Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum had a model of the Mars Sojourner Rover that actually landed on Mars. This successful operation has led to many other exploration projects and has allowed scientists to discover ice on Mars. As a result, I have decided that in order to avoid the upcoming doom of 2012, we should all just go to Mars. It would only take us a few hundred years to get there, which seems like a walk in the park to me!
As the tours came to an end, the teenagers needed an adrenaline rush to balance out the immense amount of talking and knowledge that they just received. This led all of them to the flight simulators that were available inside the museum. There was a space simulator, jet simulator, and a simulator in which you actually got to fly and shoot missiles at other fighter jets. We all anticipated that Mr. Dietrich would own at using the missile launcher, but I have yet to figure out why we made this prediction (Editor’s Note: Let’s not forget Ms. Harrington’s impressive flying, which enabled Mrs. Wilmore to shoot down THREE enemy planes. THREE! Who’s the warrior now, Dietrich?). It is not like he was in the Navy or owns guns or anything like that. But anyway, everyone seemed to enjoy their success, or lack thereof.
The hours began to dwindle away and the bellies of all the MVGS representatives were beginning to drown out the screams of those in the flight simulators. As a result, many of the young scholars dined on fine cuisine at McDonald’s. Others checked out the sweet merchandise for sale in the gift store, while some spent extra time walking around viewing the planes in the museum. It is safe to say that everyone enjoyed the trip to the Udvar-Hazy National Air and Space Museum. There seemed to be something for everyone: Big Macs, a movie on a 6 story screen, space shuttles, planes, gift shop, and flight simulators. At the end of the day, all that was left to do was sit back and enjoy a nice ride on the coach with Kurt.