There’s a new reason to check out the Future of Flight & Boeing Tour, a true to life mock up of the Destiny research module built by Boeing and used by researchers aboard the International Space Station.
The real thing has been orbiting Earth for more than fifteen years, 249 miles above us. To visit you'd have to blast off in a space vehicle of some kind. And you'd have to be an astronaut like retired Captain Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper who completed five space walks in her career before moving to Whidbey Island.
“So I've seen Destiny both from the inside and the outside in space,” she says.
To visit the mock up of Destiny, all we have to do is climb seven small steps at the Future of Flight and duck.
“Does this bring back any memories?” we ask.
“Yes it does!”
Captain Stefanyshyn-Piper has experienced the real thing twice. Both times in Zero Gravity.
“Is is strange not to be swimming through here?” we ask.
“It does feel a little weird just to be standing here and not floating,” she says.
The mock up doesn't have all the cables and computers you'd find on Destiny these days but there is a window that really gives you the feeling you're high above Earth.
“That was one of the best things in space is being able to look out the windows. And just look at the earth going by.” Says Captain Stefanyshyn-Piper.
The retired astronaut shows us a sleep station, which looks more like a shower stall in a recreational vehicle.
A place to dream where so many have dreamed to be.
High above it all.
“ Do you ever feel lonely up there?” we ask
“Well you've got crewmates. So no you didn't really feel lonely.”
The Destiny module is on loan from the Museum of Flight and will be at the Future of Flilght for the next three years.
The Future of Flight & Boeing Tour is open seven days a week.