While it may seem that your family would have to travel to NASA facilities in Houston or Florida for such an opportunity, in reality one of the most established programs is in Hutchinson, Kansas at the Cosmosphere and Space Center.
To check it out, your kids might like to investigate the Cos online. They have a UStream video show – What’s Up at the Cos? – and they’re on Facebook and Twitter (President and CEO Chris Orwoll is @CosmosphereCEO and educator Joel – seen briefly strapping me in below in the video – is @CosED.)
During my recent blogger’s familiarization tour around the city, I had an opportunity to get ahead of the kids and climb into one of the training devices myself.
It looks like a gyroscope, but the formal name is Multi-Axis Trainer.
You can hear me hollering as my body goes in multi-axis directions. Don’t worry….I threatened to hurl coffee and coffeecake, but you’re safe in viewing it.
If you can’t see the video embed box, here is the URL directly to the video on my YouTube channel.
(Update June 2009 – I’ve decided that my Hutch posts warrant an additional disclosure line since some readers might not understand the term “blogger fam tour.” The Cosmosphere and Hutchinson CVB paid for my lodging and expenses while I was in Hutchinson. They did not tell me what I could or could not write about. I paid my own airfare to/from Kansas.)