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Seattle Museum of Flight Full Fuselage Trainer: North America Tour 2

Hey Chasers!

We’re continuing with the updates of our amazing second North America Tour of late July/Early August that are “backblogged.” Apologies for the delay. Real life caught up with me for August/September orientation and student move-ins at Simon Fraser University. Now that all the new generation of students have arrived on residence, where I live and work, it was time to review the rest of the incredible locations/interviews of this recent trip. (By the Way. Simon Fraser University is considered to be like Sci-Fi Headquarters. It has been a filming set for Battlestar Galactica, Halo: Forward Unto Dawn, Underworld. Very cool place to visit if you are in BC)

Following our meetup with Bill Nye (BILL BILL BILL) in Los Angeles we headed North to the Seattle Museum of Flight.  Within the Museum’s many awesome exhibits ranging from WWII combat aircraft, an actual retired Concorde, an SR-71 Blackbird, and hands-on simulator experiences is the Full Fuselage Shuttle Trainer. 

Full Fuselate Shuttle Trainer at the Seattle Museum of Flight

Full Fuselate Shuttle Trainer at the Seattle Museum of Flight

The Full Fuselage Trainer (FFT) is a 1:1 scale replica of the Shuttle itself used to train every astronaut who ever flew to space on any of the shuttle missions. From Chris Hadfield to Story Musgrave to John Glenn, all these astronauts stepped foot in the FFT. It is as close as one can get to being in the shuttle without actually being in the shuttle; something that nobody will ever do again.

The Museum of Flight let us get inside the trainer and grab some incredible footage. While we were filming, Paul asked me to sit down in the command chair; the left seat in the cockpit. Seated before the accurate controls of what one would find in the shuttle, I was thrust into the life of what might have been; the life of a space-farer – an astronaut. The moment hit me harder than I had anticipated, which Paul keenly captured on film. It struck me that while the astronaut that I had always hoped to be was a driving force behind this film, that dream has also been a source of shame; that I had, in a sense, failed. I have always been vaguely aware of this sentiment toward my not becoming an astronaut. There is often a lingering sense that I made an error, or should have done something differently. Trying to determine all of one’s motivations for decisions made over a decade ago is difficult. I believe that, at the time, I choose to study arts rather than sciences, I did so for the right reasons and intentions.

Full Fuselage Shuttle Trainer (FFT)  with Matt Cimone (left) and Paul Muzzin (right)

Full Fuselage Shuttle Trainer (FFT) with Matt Cimone (left) and Paul Muzzin (right)

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