One of the great memories of Summer 2017 was a visit from my grandnephew, Finnegan Sezer – AKA SCIENTIST SEZER. He loves anything to do with science and came to attend the Space Academy at the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
He joins a cast of impressive alumni from this place:
1. Elon Musk – Founder and CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX. He also was co-founder of PayPal. (Musk has donated Tesla’s to the US Space and Rocket Center.)
2. Sergei Brin – Co-founder of Google
3. Pierre Omidyar – Founder of eBay, who became a billionaire at age 31 when the company went public.
4. Charlize Theron – Actress
5. Dottie Metcalf-Lindenberger, Samantha Cristoforetti, Kate Rubins, Christina Hammock Koch, and Serena M. Aunon- Chancellor – Astronauts
Adventures experienced by Scientist Sezer were a simulated space mission to Mars, riding the Multi-Axis Trainer (Also known as the 1/6 gravity chair), and designing and participating in a model rocket competition. The rocket that his team designed was named “LAIKA”, after the first dog in space. Their LAIKA rocket flew the highest into the Huntsville skies, smoking the competition. Way to go Scientist Sezer and your team of future engineers, astronauts, and scientists!
Space Academy was not totally dedicated to geek and nerd activities. Scientist Sezer and his band of brothers had a mayo fight with filched mayonnaise packets from the mess hall. He noted Habitat I, where the brouhaha took place and where they slept, kind of smelled like rotten eggs till morning.
After Space Academy graduation, Scientist Sezer had the opportunity to meet former astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson at a luncheon. Hoot lived up to his name and was a hoot with the crowd, regaling them with stories from space. Hoot gives credit to himself for officially ending the Cold War. He was Commander of the Space Shuttle on Mission STS – 71, which docked with the Russian Space Station Mir. Hoot said the Cold War officially ended in June 1995 when, through a hatch on the docked space shuttle, he shook hands with Russian Cosmonaut, Vladimir Dezhurov.
Husband Adam and I loved having Scientist Sezer in the Rocket City. We can’t wait to have him back next summer. Even more exciting is the career Scientist Sezer will have someday!
Hoot Gibson meets the future scientist, Finnegan Sezer