The Amaz!ng Meeting 2003

Electric Monk - Kennedy Space Center - Astronaut Memorial Part 2 and Return to JREF

Reflecting pond
Reflecting Pond at the Astronaut Memorial

Adjoining the memorial is a small lake that was quite beautiful at sunset, its lighting and reflections inviting contemplation.

Memorial plaque
Plaque on Reverse of Astronaut Memorial

Space mirror mechanism
The Engineers Examine and Speculate Upon the Space Mirror's Mechanism

Engineers being what they are, we could not help but examine the mechanisms behind the Space Mirror. There was nothing at the memorial to explain what the machinery did except that it was evident that the Mirror could be tilted up and down by it. By searching the internet later, I was able to determine that the Mirror is rotated and tilted during daylight hours to cause the sun's rays to be reflected in mirrors behind the Mirror, through the names of the astronauts cut through its face.

Is This a Real Alligator or a Sculpture? Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Looking over the railing on the walkway leading from the memorial, we saw an alligator lying in the grasses at the edge of the reflecting pond. It appeared not to be moving at all, but was quite lifelike in appearance, so we were soon looking to test whether or not this was a real alligator.

Alligator testing
Scott, Girl 6 and Mark Devise a Test for the Alligator

Girl 6 reported that she thought she could see it breathing, and after a moment, I thought that I had seen some movement. We knew that this could just be an illusion due to wishful thinking though, so we minimized our own movement and looked more closely, without detecting any further movement.

As we had no volunteers to climb down and try to pet it, Scott sacrificed a penny to listen to the sound it made when hitting the alligator. I was not in hearing range at the time, but Scott reports that the penny sounded like it was hitting concrete.

With that issue settled as best we could manage, and with time running out for us to get back in time for the Thursday internet broadcast, we headed for the exit and back to our cars.

Girl 6 knitting
Girl 6's In-Car Project

For our return trip, Girl 6 brought out her spare-time project. She is knitting what she described as an outrageously long scarf, made out of a yarn with long strings hanging out from it. Girl 6, when you're done with the scarf, we need a picture of you modeling it.

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