On January 28, 1986 the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean, tragically killing its heroic crew.
On Tuesday, February 4th at the Ditan Park Temple Festival, a Challenger flew again.
Or rather a space shuttle simulation called The Challenger 挑战者号. Clambering aboard, I was hoping for some sort of black humor ride that simulated a perfectly normal space voyage and then the inky blackness of death.
Instead, I got a bizarre 5 minute shaky space roller coaster reminiscent of the 1995 computer game Descent. The image below is not out of focus — it was actually this low-def. Even worse, the motions of the ride weren’t in sync with the video.
Stumbling out of the Challenger, I felt no need to buy the 30 RMB xiaolongbao that the vendors were selling. I just wanted to go home.
I remember taking a simulated ride that used the same software in the mid-1990s in Cairns, northern Australia. That screenshot brought it all back. As a kid in those days it was really quite special.
Strange, and kind of sad, in a way.
I wonder if it was bought cheap in some auction from Taiwan or Hong Kong or something. The characters on the outside are traditional. That might explain its age, given what the Australian commentator mentioned.