Do you see it? The spaceship.
Josh took this photo in November on his guided tour of the town of Al-Khobar, it is about 1 hour from our city of Al-Jubail. The day after he uploaded the photos during our daily call, I immediately started asking him questions….
Me: OMG! They have a Space Shuttle in Saudi?! Why do they have a Space Shuttle? Is there a sign? What is that there for? Is there a museum or something? Are they starting a Space Program or celebrating space exploration? Does it need to be fixed cuz I can help with that?!
Josh: What are you talking about?! What space shuttle?
(I direct him to the photo in our Google Drive)
Josh: No. That’s not a shuttle, that’s a water tower or something?
Me: No! Behind the palm trees. That is definitely a Space Shuttle model. I can see the stabilizer, part of a payload bay, and a main engine.
Josh: Oh. Huh. Yeah, I don’t remember. How did you see that?!
So, on our first trip to Khobar, I made sure we stopped by the Shuttle to prove I know my spaceships. 🙂
Here are the closeup photos.
I had heard about the Saudi royal who flew in early Space Shuttle days and sure enough the road is called Prince Salman Road. From the very few internet sources I could find (and they are of course all true – cuz it’s the internet), the model was placed here to commemorate the Space Shuttle Discovery specifically the STS-51G mission. I also found this 2011 segment on NPR discussing the mission with the prince including how he complied with his religious duties.
So…I have a small reminder of space and exploration here with me in Saudi. I also get NatGeo here which means Live from Space and the new Cosmos series!! Much needed brain food! Speaking of which….I also get my weekly fix of The Walking Dead!! Most everything else I get also get with my internet connection and various programs.
I am still exploring my new city, but seeing this Space Shuttle and showing it to folks as we drive by gives me a great sense of pride and reminds me of the rewarding opportunity I had for nine years, and inspires me to keep looking for new projects that interest me or to make those opportunities for myself.