Friday, April 20, 2012

I'll Sit This One Out!

As many of you may know, the space shuttle Discovery recently retired to the Udvar-Hazy Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, located in the suburbs outside of Washington, D.C.  Discovery, perched a top a NASA 747, flew from Cape Canaveral to D.C. for it's last flight, touring the city and making a very exciting day in the D.C. area!

I thought I was going to miss it - I had my last pregnancy appointment that morning at almost the exact time it was scheduled to arrive.

Luckily, thanks to being early, I was able to make it all the way out to Dulles Airport (well, a highway overpass overlooking the airport!) to wait with hundreds of others, hoping for a fly over.

I always loved the idea of being an astronaut, but I never excelled at math or science, so that wasn't going to work!  I was always jealous of my brother, who had been to space camp when I was younger - but I never got to do anything like that, either!

Instead, I rode Mission: Space.  The only ride I've ever seen that included barf bags.  I rode it back in 2005, before it had options - there was no "green vs. orange" it was just "go."
Image from

Borrowing techniques from NASA, this simulator uses a multiple arm centrifuge to give the allusion of accelerating.  You're spinning and tilting, getting up to 2.5 G's of gravity (2.5x your weight pushed against you) all while watching a screen that's shooting you to the moon.

I can still remember thinking "if this goes on for 5 more seconds, I'm going to need one of those bags" and walking off a bit woozy.  Everyone walking off looked slightly green and headed for the water fountains.  With my friend Jen, we had to sit and relax and couldn't eat for a good while after.  

In the times I've visited since that one occasion (and that's a lot!) I've either successfully convinced the others that it's just not worth the pain or enjoyed some people watching time while waiting for others.  

This is one attraction that I don't plan to ever ride again - and that's a short list.  Actually, this may be the only attraction on that list.  

What attractions do you avoid?  Have you had a similar experience or do you enjoy this ride?  I'd love to hear your experience, either in comments below or on the facebook page!


  1. I'm with you. I rode Green and was fine but my husband convinced me to try Orange. Never again. And it is really cool that you got to see the Discovery.

  2. I went on this during my honeymoon in 2006 and actually really like it. The only part I didn't like was since we were going so fast, my cheeks went so far back that the flap of my skin hitting my own face was painful.

  3. I had a friend test ride this for me. His first words when we met afterwards "you would have barfed". No Mission Space for me. I rode Aerosmith's Rock 'N Roller Coaster once, and barfed 20 minutes after I got off the ride. No more of that for me!
    And Expedition Everest, nearly barfed, enough of that.
    Also the Star Wars ride is a no no for me as well. And the old Body Wars.