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SPACEBEANS // HOTSTUFF

Board Game of the Stars

Put away your tired and torn versions of Clue, Sorry and Candyland (if you've still got that one) and try out Solarquest, the Apollo 13 Edition. Heralded as the "Monopoly of outer space," Solarquest is a new game in which players travel on a tour of the entire solar system buying and selling planets and moons, charging rent, bartering fuel and engaging in periodic laser wars. The kicker is that players also must survive the perils of space travel just as the Apollo 13 crew did when an explosion on board their space craft caused an oxygen leak and power failure. The game also includes hundreds of facts about the solar system and a diagramed summary of Apollo 13's voyage. Solarquest is for kids 8-years-old and up and sells for $19.99 at Toys "R" Us.

Dessert of Champions

Imagine you are an astronaut. You are wearing a heavy space suit, floating around in your space craft doing space work when you get a little hungry. So you pull out your favorite orbit treat _ astronaut ice cream. No need for sugar cones, sprinkles or even napkins. This ice cream is "frozen, vacuum-dried, sealed in a polyester-foil pouch and ready to eat as is," or so the package reads. And the good news is you don't have to be an astronaut to get the stuff. The freeze-dried goody goes by the brand name of Action Snacks and sells from $1.88 to $2.50, depending on where you buy it in the Tampa Bay area. It's available at these mall stores: What a World! (Tampa Bay Center and Countryside Mall), Natural Wonders (West Shore Plaza and Tyrone Square Mall) and World of Science (Clearwater Mall and University Mall). It's also sold in the gift shops of the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa and Great Explorations, the Hands-On museum in St. Petersburg.

Dear Mom and Dad: I'm having a blast at Space Camp

If tents and bonfires don't interest you, you might want to try being a space scout instead of a boy or girl scout. U.S. Space Camp, Fla., is at the entrance to NASA'S Kennedy Space Center in Brevard County. At this camp, you can conduct a test countdown with the launch of your very own model rocket, get strapped into the Multi Axis Trainer, take a simulated leap on the moon in a Gravity Chair and hang suspended on the Zero "G" wall. For information on attending Space Camp, call (800) 637-7223.

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