TSM brings Space Day ‘Circus’ to NASA Facility In Appalachia
by Ivor Dawson

September 20, 2005 (Fairmont, West Virginia)

The Traveling Space Museum trucked their Space Day road show 2,500 miles from Los Angeles to the rolling hills of Fairmont, West Virginia --and then entertained over 900 middle school students from all over the state. TSM attractions were exhibited under three giant tents that gave the mega outdoor event an old time circus-like atmosphere. Dubbed “A Day in the Park,” the event was produced by NASA’s Independent Verification and Validation unit and sponsored by the West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation.

For TSM, the highlight of the eight day road trip was the opportunity to debut two new simulations: the Lunar Utility Vehicle, a next generation lunar rover and a high fidelity copy of the Space Shuttle’s Waste Containment System otherwise known as the “space toilet.” Both exhibits were big hits with the students.

TSM newcomer Jerry Koskie supervised students flying a radio-controlled helicopter. Veteran TSM instructors Ceci Stratford and Chuck Camphagen demonstrated a radio controlled airship and the Lunar Utility Vehicle respectively. TSM president, Ivor Dawson manned the Odyssey III Mobile SpaceLab. Other attractions included bottle rockets and space suit demonstrations. “Astro-Jeopardy”-a portable game show set complete with lights, buzzers and wacky game show host proved to be another big crowd-pleaser!

In a state where coal is still king, event organizers were hoping that these West Virginian students would consider careers in science and technology. Considering the many questions asked and the desire to interact with the simulators, we think the organizers succeeded - big-time.

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The Day in the Park also featured a visit by former astronaut and local hero, Paul Richards.
Students are invited to climb aboard the Lunar Utility Vehicle.
With the seat belt in place, this student finds out exactly how astronauts go to the bathroom in space.