George & Wendy Show

Wendy Parker

Beam me up, NASA

| December 06, 2013

Well NASA finally called. I’ve been waiting for it, I figured as soon as I wrote the thing about being abducted when I was a kid, they’d probably eventually call. George seems to think the reason they called is because of the application I sent in about three months ago. He may be right, but I think the being abducted part probably gave me at least a little leg up in the application process.

My ride...
My ride…

I didn’t apply for NASA itself, I applied to participate in a press event NASA is having when they launch an Anteras rocket from Wallops Flight Facility into space on December 17. When I applied, I had absolutely no aspirations of being chosen. Fifty people out of the I don’t know how many applications is not many, and I really didn’t think they’d let me around a bunch of rockets and stuff. I even wrote an entry paragraph that basically said I really didn’t care so much about the rocket launch as the trucks and big equipment they use to drag those rockets, and all the mess that goes with them, around. I’m also pretty sure I made a joke about a flight facility named Wallops, because, can I tell you how excited I am to go to a place called Wallops? I’m literally “packing a Wallops” trip. Ha! (I can already sense I’ll be banned from using the word “Wallops” on the road trip to Wallops. I have to put a mental Wallop on the Wallops so I don’t get asked to leave the vehicle.)

Needless to say, I’m a little excited. It’s an evening launch, and they’re taking us out in the NASA bus to a place where we can watch the launch with an unobstructed view. This is awesomely cool in itself, but to get to the facility, we have to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and I haven’t been across it in years. I’m really looking forward to seeing the mean ol’ gray Atlantic again, it’s been a minute. It’s funny to think I’ve seen the Pacific Ocean more this year than the Atlantic, when I had never seen the Pacific in my life until a year or so ago. It’s a crazy world.

Of course we won’t be that close to Hampton without stopping for chili cheese dogs at Smitty’s. We lived in Hampton when George was in the Navy, and anyone familiar with the area knows Smitty’s. It’s a banged-up old drive-in, really close to the gates of Langley Air Force base and they have the most divine chili cheese dog on the face of the planet.

So it would be nice to hear from the readers and get an idea of what you’d like to know about a NASA rocket launch. I should probably make a list, because I’ll get out there and become fixated on something weird and get two hours of footage on a meal worm while a rocket launches behind me. If I have a list, I’ll stay on task (for 11 minutes). Help a sistah out.

  • Clyde

    Like you, I would be interested in the trucks and equipment used to get things set up.
    BTW, a Wallop is what used to get if I didn’t mind my folks!

  • Dr Duke

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.