A Half-Day Tourist at NASA
NASA Visit: 17th July 2007...it was a very productive day to a group of sailors on board M/T Parthenon (of Tsakos Energy Navigation) to visit the most important portal of space exploration in our world. And that is located in Houston, Texas, United States of America.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the most visited facility in this 'Lone Star' state.
When seafarers are given a chance to visit NASA, the chaplain assigned at the Seafarers' Center there arranged for the schedule and fetch the driver to the ship's dockyard and look for the group of sailors who will go ashore and visit the site.
I cannot go ashore along with my friends because of my schedule as cook.
When they came back, they boasted about NASA and the photos they've taken inside the premises, especially the public area where exhibits of NASA's gadgets and out-of-this-world creatures are featured.
The next batch in our vessel, also visited NASA, including me on the next half-day.
NASA Experts Assist in Chilean Miners' Survival and Rescue c/o NASAtelevision
Photos taken at NASA's Public showroomClick thumbnail to view full-size
Getting a schedule for NASA Tour
A special tour visit at NASA is often offered by the local seaman's center at Houston, Texas, USA in order to both satisfy and please sailors after their rigorous operations while at the port.
Loading and discharging cargoes, like fuel, goods or grains eat most of one seafarer and going ashore is also very limited.
To lessen their stress, the seaman's center give opportunity to all interested seamen to visit NASA.
NASA's schedule for seafarers range from weekdays and weekends, excluding Sundays, morning and afternoon schedule.
The drive from the port of Houston up to NASA took only an hour or so.
I enjoyed the trip very much. I intend to be a space mariner someday if my body still permits me to do so.
The 'Skylab' Scare
I was only 12 years old then, in 1982, when the famous NASA's space station, SkyLab, disintegrated in space. Since it was at the orbit line in space, its parts were found at different locations, including Philippines. I remember that one farmer saw a block of an unidentified 'object' fell from the sky.
The rumors that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) were seen in several parts of the world spread like fire. Radio, television and print media featured stories since the 'falling of SkyLab.
I, too, became interested and wished to be an astronaut but no sufficient logistics to pursue my dream.
I just settled to be a sailor.