Space Station 3D

I took my mom (visiting from
San Diego) to the “Space Station 3D” IMAX film yesterday at the National Air and SpaceMuseum. By far the coolest 3D and IMAX film I have ever seen. It is a 3D IMAX film of the entire construction process (real film, not sim) of the international space station and the manning of it.

It was both more enjoyable and a little depressing to watch because I was a finalist for the astronaut program in 1997 while still in the Navy flying F-14 Tomcats. I was lucky enough to be one of about 100 invited down to interview for the program and went through all the 25+ physical exams required. Unfortunately the only one I had a problem with was the uncorrected vision one, failing the 20/200 standard in one eye by a smidgen (20/250), and I was out of consideration. Of course now I see 20/20 thanks to LASIK, but that wasn’t legal then for flight (still isn’t), so there wasn’t much I could do to have another shot.

It was very cool to see a buddy who was my advisor in Test Pilot School (TPS), Charlie “Scorch” Hobaugh, as one of the second crew to man the station, highlighted in the film. I flew a number of times with Scorch in F-18’s at TPS. It was cool to see him get picked up, saw him while I was down in Houston for my interview and he was still just an astronaut candidate (your whole first 1-1.5 year after selection you are just a candidate), and now I got to see 3D IMAX action of him doing his job in space. Not something you get to see friends do everyday.

Anyway, if you are in DC or this film comes to an IMAX near you, make the trip, it is well worth it and will get you interested and supportive of the space program again.