The centerpiece of the science park is the full size replica of the space shuttle Columbia. The shuttle is really quite massive, nearly 40 metres long and 5 stories high at the tail. When you stand beside the full size replica, it is hard to believe that this huge piece of machinery is actually launched into space.
Entering the shuttle through the main hatch you find yourself in a true to life representation of the crew's living quarters. This area contains mockups of all of the major equipment. Mannequins in flight suits and space suits depict life in the orbiter. An automatic video tour explains that this little room, about the size of a small travel trailer, is the kitchen, living room, bathroom and bedroom for an eight person crew for missions of up to two weeks in duration. Later you will visit the flight deck which is directly overhead and you can actually sit in the commander's seat and maybe even take a picture to show the folks back home. The cargo bay, which is the whole rear portion of the shuttle, has been turned into a Science Center chocked full of hands-on fun and education.
The shuttle is one of only six replicas in the world and is the only one where the general public can actually walk through and experience the cramped quarters that the astronauts live in. Bart drew up the plans using a large number of books on the subject and a Revell scale model with a scale of 1 inch = 72 inches. Bart explains " All you have to do is measure the model, multiply by 72, and if you know your 72 times tables there's nothing to it"!!! It was obviously a lot more complicated than that
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