Driving A Moon Buggy

[twitter]We’re a space kind of family. I take my name from Buzz Aldrin (and met him). One of my earliest memories is driving a lunar lander at Kennedy Space Center when I was 5 (above). I grew up fascinated by the Space Shuttle, and for a time wanted to be an astronaut. If I had a quarter million dollars lying around, my name would be on the waiting list to board Virgin Galactic. I want to go to space so badly.

The space race has traveled to the kids too. Zacharie has already met Chris Hadfield. And has his own astronaut costume in the tickle trunk.

Zacharie is going to Mars

So what’s next? How about going to Mars?!

This isn’t like the people who have volunteered to go on the private mission to Mars, or like the 13 yr old girl who claims she will be the first human on Mars.

This is just a boarding pass. A little token to say “I love space, and I’m going to send my name to Mars.”

Boarding passes were available for the December launch of Orion to Mars. We got them for both of the boys.

Mars Boarding Pass

Mars Boarding Pass

All the collected names will be placed on a microchip aboard Orion on the #JourneytoMars.

The launch window for Orion is December 4-6 when it will make designated Exploration Flight Test-1. After a 4.5 hour, two-orbit mission around Earth to test Orion’s systems, the spacecraft will travel back through the atmosphere before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.

After returning to Earth, the names will fly on future NASA exploration flights and missions to Mars. With each flight, selected individuals will accrue more miles as members of a global space-faring society.

This week as we were driving to soccer practice and a big full moon blazed the sky, Zacharie said “I want to go to space one day, daddy.”  I sighed. I’d love for that to happen. My dream is not likely to come true in my lifetime, but if Zacharie or Charlie or one of their kids can get up there some time in the next 40-50 years so I can see it happen, I’d be thrilled. A dream come true.

The next best thing will be seeing my boys names launched in to space on Orion and, eventually, off to Mars.

The deadline for receiving a personal “boarding pass” on Orion’s test flight closed on Halloween. You still can submit your name, however, to be included on future test flights and future NASA missions to Mars.

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