Winter Break: visiting the best meteor crater ever ever ever

Dear Students,

If you looked at my calendar for Winter Break you would see I picked out a special day to travel north to take a gander at a giant hole in the ground. Can you believe this is Arizona and not the surface of the moon? No wonder NASA sent astronauts here with a moon rover to train prior to our first trip to the moon.

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In the end, after seeing it on TV so many times, we had to go and see it for ourselves. I bought a voucher from Deal Chicken, so our family of 4 was only $20.00. (Max was free, so I gave his ticket to someone in line, that felt good to do too!). Sites like Deal Chicken, Groupon and Living Social are the mainstay of our family recreation budget.

Inside the visitors center is an interactive museum, films, hands on display, an appealing gift shop, a Subway and this giant meteorite!

Inside the visitors center is an interactive museum, films, hands on display, an appealing gift shop, a Subway and this giant meteorite! This meteorite is the largest fragment found on site. Most of the 150 foot original meteor exploded on impact.

I wasn’t sure about visiting Meteor Crater in the winter. I thought it would be covered with snow (turns out snow melts quickly here). I thought it would be cold. The temp was 32 degrees when we started our tour but for some reason it felt fine. We were in direct sunlight and there was just a light wind. Normally it is very windy and most times of the year, very hot. I suppose winter break is the best time to go.

After our tour we posed for a picture. The tour is one hour long, but even Max did not mind. It's the best way to learn about the site.

After our tour we posed for a picture. The outside tour is one hour long, but even Max did not mind. It’s the best way to learn about the site. I hope you can visit soon!

Next time we go to Flagstaff, I will detour to the Cinder Lake Crater Field (outside of Flagstaff) and the Astrogeology Science Center. Arizona is the best place to grow up if you want to be an astronaut! What is next for NASA in 2013? Find out here.

Construction on 27-28 July 1967 of Cinder Lake Crater Field ...Construction on 27-28 July 1967 of Cinder Lake Crater Field # 1 just northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona (a) backhoe digging of 47 holes to precise depths, and in which to bury precisely-measured explosives at each surveyed crater site; red bailey back to camera P447, F106754 USGS Open-File Report 2005-1190, Figure 048a. - ID. Project Apollo (1960-1973) 048a - pap0048a - U.S. Geological Survey - Public domain image

Construction on 27-28 July 1967 of Cinder Lake Crater Field …
Construction on 27-28 July 1967 of Cinder Lake Crater Field # 1 just northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona (a) backhoe digging of 47 holes to precise depths, and in which to bury precisely-measured explosives at each surveyed crater site; red bailey back to camera P447, F106754 USGS Open-File Report 2005-1190, Figure 048a. – ID. Project Apollo (1960-1973) 048a – pap0048a – U.S. Geological Survey – Public domain image

p.s. Mark your calendar with the dates of upcoming NASA launches.

p.p.s. The Cinder Lake Crater field is full of ATV’s so the evidence of NASA training is long gone for the most part.

We passed this sign on the way to the crater. Funny!

We passed this sign on the way to the crater. Funny!

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