Sunday, June 15, 2008

Blasting in to space…

Finally we get to sleep in! A lazy start to a scorching hot day. Alamogordo is a rubbish town housing two stunningly good venues. The first is the National Space Flight Museum, which can only be described as WOW, and the second is the White Sands Desert (Missile Testing Range).

The museum holds a genuine moon rock. Luna sample 70215,93 (008) collected by Apollo 17 Astronaut Harrison Schmitt in 1972 and weighing in at 114 grams. And it’s a gem: a real beauty. There’s other stuff here too like Little Joe II (pictured) that was used to test the Apollo engines in White Sands. Sputnik; yes the Sputnik. And the StarChaser, the only rocket Britain has ever launched. They also had a life-size model of SpaceShipOne, the Virgin winner of the X-Prize but we couldn’t see that.

And then it was on to White Sands. The most remarkable beach not near a sea we’ve ever seen. So white you get blinded and so big people get lost every year. We spent a very romantic evening watching the sun go down whilst the dog dug for bones only she could smell.

The car trip computer now stands at 1689.