Dinner with Endeavour and the Blue Ribbon Ladies

Dining at the California Science Center underneath the space shuttle

When the ladies of The Blue Ribbon (the women who have raised $72 mil for the Music Center to date) invite you to dinner, you go. When that meal is being served underneath the space shuttle Endeavour and an astronaut who has flown on it is going to chat you up, you get there early. I did both the other night, joining co-chairs Joan Hotchkis, Chris Newman, and Betsy Ulf and the woman who brought the Endeavour to L.A. (Lynda Oschin) for a hearty meal and the best travel slide show I have ever seen from astronaut Garrett Reisman.

First California Science Center Jeffrey Rudolph got up to excitedly tell those assembled about new plans for the retired shuttle—think launch position, open doors, and being able to get a lift to the top of the spacecraft (among other fab things). Then it was Reisman’s show. He talked about the view out the Endeavour’s window and walking in space. He referred to the shuttle as “her” and “she” and showed pictures he had taken of his favorite things on earth included Dodger Stadium. “If you’re not having fun in space, there’s something wrong with you,” he said. Reisman now works with Elon Musk at SpaceX. He answered questions before heading to LAX to spend time with the family of the late astronaut Ilan Ramon on the anniversary of his death on the space shuttle Columbia.

“The best part of being in space?” said Reisman, “The flying [weighlessness]. Having that superpower. Flying is much better than the 405.”