Lunar Mission

Remember how this was the thrilling birthday gift? And Eddie, though not the birthday boy, was pretty pleased, to say the least.

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It’s as tall as him (1 meter). And he is over the moon (pun intended). As he helped build the LEGO set, he had so many questions for Dad about the Saturn V rocket: Do they still go to the moon? Why don’t they build them anymore?

We paused halfway through for dinner and the conversation around the table was just the best. One of those sweet times I want to burn onto my memory forever. The wonderful connection time as we chatted over the meal; the grown-ups, the 4-year-old who self-proclaimed “I know aLOT about space!”, the 1-year-old chattering along, putting in his two cents.

The topic stayed mostly space related after Eddie’s declaration of space smarts.

Dad: So do you remember what the names of Mars’ moons are?

Eddie: Um…pho-…phobo!

Dad: Close.

Mom: Phobos.

Eddie: Phobos! And…and…Demos! They look like a potato and a peanut.

Dad: Do you know which one is the potato and which is the peanut?

Eddie: Well, that depends on which one looks more like a peanut and which one looks more like a potato.

Uh-huh. Well said.

Dad: Are they bigger or smaller than our moon?

Eddie: I think our moon is bigger.

Dad: What other moons do you know?

Eddie: Enceledus. Do you know how Enceledus makes Jupiter’s rings?

Dad: Wait, which planet has the rings?

Mom: Which planet are you eating off of tonight?

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Eddie: Saturn. Do you know how Enceledus helps make Saturn’s rings?

(Nice save. Way to keep your cool, kid.)

Eddie: Enceledus has cracks in it and water goes shooting out and space is so cold that the water turns into ice and some of the ice falls onto Enceledus and some of it falls onto Saturn’s rings.

The words on the page just don’t do his little voice justice. He has such an air of authority. He really is a rocket scientist. He really does know a lot about outer space. While sometimes that 4-year-old know-it-all thing gets really old, sometimes it’s just the sweetest, cutest thing all day.

Well they got back to work on the rocket after dinner. Xander wanted so badly to join in the fun, and miraculously no pieces were lost.

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Yes, that is a Hot Wheels car inside the rocket. He did wreak havoc in other ways.

By the time it was completed (long past usual bedtime, I might add), Eddie was begging for a “lunar mission”, start to finish. How do you say no?

Well, we did. It was late. I know, party pooper. But we did find these cool videos animating the entire lunar mission and promised to reenact it the next day with the LEGO rocket.

Fast forward. After a very long day (both for Jonathan who had issues with the deployable structure he was working on at JPL, and for me who had Eddie asking all day long when Dad would be home to do the lunar mission), it was time.

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Countdown!
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Docking.
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The Eagle has landed.

Look at those teeny tiny LEGO mini figures! Mini anything gets me, but mini mini figures?!

 

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Splashdown!

 

The incredible thing about acting it all out, for me, was starting with this meter tall rocket, and by the end, it’s all been jettisoned (what a great word!) and these 3 little guys splash down into a vast ocean in a tiny capsule. Unbelievable! All the people and smarts and experiments and resources it took to fly a few guys all the way to the moon and back…it’s mind blowing!

But the thrill of it, the whetted appetite of endless curiosity, the wonder of exploration is alive in well in my little rocket scientist’s questions and excitement. And, of course, his know-it-all answers!

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