For those of you out there whose dream to become an astronaut was snuffed out by a failing grade in calculus, fear not! Space wanderers can rekindle that dream thanks to the Kennedy Space Center`s Astronaut Training Experience (ATX). This is a half-day of training, which includes an introduction to the inside of an orbiter, physical spaceflight training simulators, a mission simulation experience, and a lecture and photo op with a real astronaut. Plus you get a smart NASA polo shirt to take home, and free admission to the Astronaut Hall of Fame!
I`ve had the pleasure of this experience, and let me tell you, it is 110% worth the cost! In one morning alone, I crashed two flight simulators (thus ruling out an immediate career as a pilot), acted as flight director for a full-scale mission, and spacewalked up and down a micro-gravity wall. The best part? When I watch future launches on TV, I`ll know the delicious details of what`s happening in the shuttle and at Ground Control.