Back in the 1990s when I was a graduate student at Stanford, Mountain View meant one of two things to me: good international restaurants on Castro St, and Hangar One on the NASA/Ames Research Center Campus on Moffett Field.
You could see Hangar One from a distance, and as a Star Trek fan, I always thought it held a special promise. I didn’t know what was in it and didn’t really want to know the details. I just loved the scale of it, the sheer size and awesomeness.
It no longer looks like it used to, and I did a post on that topic last year. Google is restoring it for what are bound to be nefarious purposes involving virtual reality, trips to the moon, and paleo-vegan cuisine. (Also, since this is Thursday Doors, where’s the door? I don’t see a single door on that thing!)
So. Second in a short series of posts about the “Geekiest Hot Spots” in Silicon Valley and their doors, I present you with . . . other, non-Hangar-One, cool stuff at NASA-Ames that I never knew about when I lived here the last time!
NASA-Ames has a visitor center that is free and open to the public. This visitor center, like the International Space Station, is home to a geocache.
Fittingly, on the outside it looks like a moon bounce, with doors for the kiddos to enter and exit the play area:
The visitor center has a substantial exhibit about the International Space Station. It’s not the real station but it has a round doorway:
Inside the ISS exhibit, there are fun things like examples of space food and a video about an experiment testing the effects of zero gravity on frog development. Behind these doors were the incubators where the frog eggs were kept:
I won’t spoil where the geocache is, but it’s somewhere here inside the ISS model. Finding this cache is special to me for another reason. I’m writing a science fiction novel, and one of the plot points of the novel involves trying to get funding to build a space station. One of the characters, an engineer who works on the hydroponics and plants for the station, is also a geocacher. I imagine him planning to hide a cache in one of the plant-growing tunnels.
Lettuce in Space (BBC News)
We also have the door to the moonrock room:
The door to the gift shop:
And an interesting door at the end of this model of SOFIA, a flying infrared observatory:
My son does not look particularly thrilled to be posing in a space suit, but I was! (And note one more Thursday door behind us on the right)
This post is for Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world.