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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Amazing dad builds his son a spaceship simulator

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Daniel Sherrouse)

A computer technician has skipped the cardboard boxes and built his toddler an incredible simulation of the cockpit of a spacecraft.

When it comes to make-believe, kids are pretty canny. A refrigerator box can fly you to the moon — but one dad has gone above and beyond.

Before his son Noah was born, Daniel Sherrouse was already planning the spaceship simulator he would build to instil in Noah a love of the stars, inspired by physicists and educators Neil deGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan. "When my wife told me she was pregnant, I slammed my fist down on the table and said 'Gosh darn it, my kid is going to have a better life than me!'"

He started with a 1.5 by 2.4 metre enclosed trailer to make the cockpit, then set about decking it with dashboards, controls, HUDs and equipment — mostly second-hand gear donated by friends and family. Most of the buttons, switches and dials don't really do anything, but one of the screens is used to play Pioneer Space Simulator (with the option to play more complex games as little Noah gets older), operated with a keyboard, mouse and USB number pad, while the other shows a system start-up video created by Sherrouse and a radar screen saver.

(Credit: Daniel Sherrouse)

The whole thing is finished off with a stellar paint job, making the cockpit look like the sort of aged rust bucket in which a space veteran would feel most at home. The entire thing has taken about 10 months to build — but it's going to be an ongoing project, growing and evolving with Noah.

"I have always been interested in space, and I believe our survival as a species requires us to one day reach the stars," Sherrouse told CNET Australia. "As funding for the sciences and NASA drop further and further, I worry that we are giving up on and betraying that destiny. We must inspire the next generation to reach for the things we have not had the courage to invest in."

So long as there are dads like Sherrouse in the world, we reckon things are going to be all right.

To find out more and see more pictures, visit Sherrouse's blog and post on Reddit.

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Im Batman posted a comment   

If building this only grants the dad with the title "amazing", what is required to achieve "AWESOME".
Very impressive!


ChrisH8 posted a comment   

Seriously, this dude rocks in all kinds of ways! Especially with his son!


Michelle Starr posted a reply   

Yeah, I completely agree :)

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