On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after liftoff. Out of that terrible tragedy emerged an idea from the families of the Astronauts killed that day. They decided that instead of building a single memorial somewhere, why not do something to inspire kids and get them interested in Space Travel. This gave birth to the Challenger Learning Centers that sprang up across the country. They "offer realistic mock-ups of Mission Control and an orbiting space station".
Alex and his classmates went on Monday of this week, and had a blast. I was present as a foreign ambassador, basically my purpose was to stay out of the way and keep my mouth shut. The kids mission was to continue the mission the Astronauts from the Challenger mission would have done had they made it into space. That mission was to rendezvou with a comet, and send out a probe to analyze the dust coming from its tail. The kids learned the value of the teamwork necessary when attempting to accomplish something as complicated as space exploration.
I'm pretty sure it was a day they will never forget, and thankfully, I had my camera along.