Uppili Srinivas , who goes to school in Ooty, has recently returned from a trip to NASA, Huntsvile, Alabama. It's called Tranquility Base, says Srinivas, of the place where he spent a week attending a space camp for school students.
The trip was sponsored by his school, Good Shepherds, Ooty. Srinivas, son of Mr Sriraj of D-1202 at Mantris was among some 700 plus students at the Hunstvile camp, drawn from various parts of the world and from schools in the US. There were over 60 boys and girls from India. The idea of the space camp may well be to expose school-goers to space technology. But I suspect the camp organizers would feel good if their Huntsvile experience take the campers' schoolboy dreams to the realms of outer space.
I didn't ask Srinivas what he dreams of nowadays, but we did talk about his camping at the place from where they send astronauts out into space. He was at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, a few days before spacecraft Endeavour was to land from its final trip to the space station. Kennedy Space center is huge, says Srinivas, adding for my benfit, that it would cover the area from ECR bridge over Muthukkadu lake, extending up to the end of Chettinadu Health City.
Space camp interns, put up in bunker-beds, seven to a room, spent their days visiting various facilities at the Huntsvile. Srinivas experienced zero-gravity at the space lab and had a ride in a fighter-jet simulator. But then fun time for him was the after-lunch hours when they took the campers to Imax theatre.