The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex hosted the travel trade to a ‘Dinner with an astronaut’ in Dublin. The event was without a doubt the most informative, educational and entertaining evening that the trade and the top travel media ever experienced.
This was generated by the presence of Dr Don Thomas, a former NASA astronaut who shared his tales of space travel. He is both a great American and an outstanding inspiration to any young person who aspires to a career in space exploration.
In a wide ranging interview with ITTN, Dr Thomas outlined how he decided that he wanted to become an astronaut when he was just six years old. This in turn motivated him to study hard at college, culminating with his doctorate from Cornell University. He said: “Don’t ever give up – everything is possible.”
Thomas was later selected as a mission specialist astronaut in NASA’s 13th group of astronauts in 1990. He is a veteran of four space shuttle missions, three aboard Columbia and one aboard Discovery. He has spent 44 days in space, completing nearly 700 orbits of the Earth and travelling 17.6 million miles in the process.
Today he is a professional speaker and continues to inspire students to reach for the stars. He is also of the many astronauts who make guest appearances at the Astronaut Encounter programme at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
Imagine making your way to Mars in a simulated capsule with a mission to create a habitat on the planet in order to protect astronauts from poisonous dust and radiation. Or, assembling your own launch team from a pool of NASA’s best. These and other exciting space adventures are now a reality at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Its newest visitor experience – Cosmic Quest – an interactive live-action game experience designed by Creative Kingdoms, engages and inspires young guests known as ‘trainees’ like never before by immersing them in a number of STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and maths) space adventures while teaching them about NASA’s current and future space science and exploration endeavours.