Education Through Entertainment

End of an Era - Space Shuttles, The Earth Balloon and The Sky Dome

Posted on Mon, May 16, 2011

portable planetarium endeavor resized 600Well, today marks the end of an era!  Space Shuttle Endeavor blasted off successfully today on what will be the last of that shuttle's flights. Space Shuttle Endeavour was the fifth of  the shuttle orbiters. The first flight of the orbiter Endeavour was STS-49 mission in May 7, 1992. Space Shuttle Endeavour was named after the first ship commanded by James Cook. Captain James Cook was an 18th century British explorer, navigator and astronomer.

I must say it makes me sad as I grew up in a time of unlimited possibilities and a future promising manned space flights to explore the universe. There will be one more shuttle flight in June when the Atlantis will make the final flight and close out the program. More and more it looks as though cost and logistics may, at least in the near term, limit mankind to exploring space by robotic surrogate. Sigh... I guess Star Trek really was just fiction after all!

Still, thankfully, and whether manned or not, space exploration will continue, as humanity’s curiosity about the universe seemingly knows no bounds. Just as earlier explorers crossed oceans, our vehicles will cross the gulf of space.

But for those here at home, and especially for our children, new technologies make learning about the Earth and the heavens easier and more fun and exciting than ever before.

earth balloonThanks to the shuttle program, and other orbiting craft, we have developed a spectacular array of arial photographs of the Earth’s surface. Pieced together by computer, this has enable the birth of the Earth Balloon, a giant planet Earth, twenty feet tall and covered in high level photographs of the Earth. Altogether a magnificent tool for teaching about our planet, the earth balloon school assembly program is available in most states from Mobile Ed and at a very reasonable cost. Though other companies offer this program at a much higher rate, Mobile Ed brings exactly the same technology and high tech appeal into your school for less than $800 per day.

earth balloonAnd if your ambitions run to the stars themselves, for the same price we offer the Sky Dome Planetarium, which uses a state of the art, $40,000  digital star projector to fill the inside of a giant planetarium dome with hundreds of thousands of stars and all manner of digitally created special effects. Space is truly spectacular and Sky Dome brings into into your own gym.

So, while we mourn the coming end of the Space Shuttle program, we are exceptionally thankful for it’s great service to our nation and to the planet in general. The nation owes a great debt to the men and women who worked on and flew these wonderful machines. May we all hope that it is not too long before humanity bravely goes forth into space again. Meantime, we are at your service to allow your kids to bravely venture forth into learning with the Earth Balloon and the Sky Dome Planetarium.

Geoff Beauchamp is the Regional Manager of Mobile Ed Productions where "Education Through Entertainment" has been the guiding principal since 1979. Mobile Ed Productions produces and markets quality educational school assembly programs in the fields of sciencehistorywritingastronomynatural sciencemathematicscharacter issues and a variety of other curriculum based areas. In addition, Mr. Beauchamp is a professional actor with 30 years of experience in film, television and on stage. He created and still performs occasionally in Mobile Ed's THE LIVING LINCOLN 

Topics: portable planetarium, astronomy, Earth Balloon, sky dome, the earth balloons