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Aaron Tippin recently visited the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX and had the experience of a lifetime.  Tippin hosts GAC’s new show “Made In America” which brings viewers up close and personal with the companies that make America what it is today.   As the host of the show, Tippin travels across the United States to visit corporate headquarters of some of America’s most well known companies—including his recent visit to the Johnson Space Center.  While visiting NASA, Tippin had a very special tour guide, Lt. Col., USMC and NASA Astronaut Fredrick W. “Rick” Sturckow.  Sturckow has participated in two Space missions so far and will participate as crew commander in a third one in the fall of this year.   On his STS-105 Discovery mission, he took Tippin’s People Like Us CD into space and sent it to him once they made it back home.  Each astronaut’s husband or wife is allowed to pick a song for the crew to wake up to while they’re on board the shuttle and Sturckow’s wife chose Tippin’s song “Big Boy Toys” for the crew.  “It’s pleasant to find out that even rocket scientists love country music,” commented Tippin.

While visiting the Johnson Space Center, Tippin got to see the Neutral Buoyancy Lab--a huge pool where the astronauts suit up and train for space missions.  He also visited Building 9 which includes different simulators and mock-ups of the space shuttle and space station components.  In Building 5, Tippin got to fly the space shuttle simulator--Sturckow sat in the commander seat while Tippin took the pilot seat--and successfully landed the shuttle three times under different circumstances.  He also visited the Rocket Garden which displays several rockets, including the Saturn 5 and was allowed to see the KC-135, also known as the “Vomit Comet,” where the astronauts train in 0G.  Astronauts can only stay in the KC-135 for 30 seconds at a time.  Tippin also toured the historical old Mission Control, the current Mission Control, and the ISS Mission Control.  The ISS Mission Control observes the International Space Station 24 hours a day.  At Ellington Field, Tippin watched a T-38 take off.

You can see Aaron’s visit to Johnson Space Center on an upcoming episode of “Made In America” on GAC.

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Jun 26, 2003

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