Space camp: Is trailer watching sky near Milton?

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Saturday, June 22, 2013

— It’s disconcerting to think your neighbors might be trafficking in aliens.

That’s aliens as in “from outer space,” not aliens as in “from Illinois.”

Actually, it’s difficult to know what to think when your rural neighbor has a silver Airstream trailer parked in his yard with “National Aeronautics and Space Administration Mobile Quarantine Facility” stenciled on its side.

Those words, along with the surprisingly realistic NASA logo, are what cause travelers on County M to slow and stare into the front yard of Joe Brown and Lisa Heinen.

Fortunately—or unfortunately, depending on your point of view—the family is not dealing with aliens of any kind.

“I’ve always been interested in rocketry and NASA,” said Brown, who is a seed salesman.

He had the decals made just for fun. Comac Signs & Designs in Janesville did the work.

A few years ago, the family took the trailer with them on a trip to Canada. On the way home, they stopped at the border crossing for inspection. The border guards loved it.

“These guys came up to us, you know, with their sidearms and hats, but they were all smiles,” Brown said.

Brown recently took the Airstream into Milton to have some work done on the awning.

Someone asked the about the trailer while it was being worked on.

“The guy said, ‘I can’t really tell you anything about it,’ and then he just smiled,” Brown said.

If only they knew.

That camper? It’s only used for—brace yourself—camping.

Last updated: 7:50 am Monday, July 29, 2013

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