hildy89: (we're all mad here)
Discovery is home. NASA took the longest time figuring out when and how to bring her down. From the sounds of it, they really really wanted to bring her back to Florida. Alas Discovery took a northern route home so we didn't hear the twin booms in this corner of Florida. I was a little disappointed, but at least the shuttle's home safe and sound. Bless NASA TV. It's Dad's CSPAN. To listen to CNN though, the whole landing was insanity. Granted, we had a cloudy overcast day with a little rain, but methinks if the nice people at Canavarel think they can do it safely, they will. Bunch of doom and gloomers anyway.

For lunch, we took a long trip up the barrier island past Satellite and Cocoa Beach, past Patrick AFB, and eventually to Port Canavarel. Patrick AFB had some large cargo planes parked on the deck, but Dad mentioned the search and rescue planes for the shuttle were out. Only one of the giant cruise ships was in residence. Rusty's had a nice view of the port, along with all the lively pelicans who decided to park themselves on the various boats moored there. They look like the ungainly of birds, but once they're airborne, they'll swoop and glide with the best of them. At least the wildlife here has personality, compared to DC's panoply of pigeons and squirrrels. (Not suggesting that squirrels lack personality, but after awhile, you want for a little variety...)

Yay!

Dec. 19th, 2006 08:44 am
hildy89: (our first date)
Mom just informed me that the shuttle is scheduled for a Friday landing, so I might get to see it (definitely hear it!) after all. As long as the fabled Florida clouds don't mess things up...
hildy89: (blue box)
Godspeed Discovery. Now go chase down a space station.

Looking at the calendar, I might have timed my Christmas break to coincide with the shuttle's return. Cool. (And I don't often use that word) Assuming it actually lands in Florida and not somewhere else of course... (or early in the morning before I arrive...)

Yahooooo!

Aug. 9th, 2005 08:20 am
hildy89: (big sleep)
And Discovery is home.

*needs a space icon*
hildy89: (anubis by ninefish)
RIP Peter Jennings.

No Discovery shuttle landing today. The weather simply wouldn't cooperate this morning, so they'll try again tomorrow. NASA made the right decision, but I'll be glad to see the shuttle safe on the ground. But while we wait, one of the Mission Specialists has recorded a podcast from space.
hildy89: (fox in winter by coi)
Gakked from several people:

My adopted bunny )

Like anyone is terribly surprised at my choice... you didn't think I'd name it Anya did you?

There was something reassuring about watching the NASA TV coverage today after the shuttle went into orbit. My father loves using it as background noise. He'll watch or putter away on something. Maybe the techs will start talking or sometimes not. Although it's rather disturbing looking at the one mission control monitor and the shuttle is basically upside down... I know the whole gravity things works different up there, but still...
hildy89: (the big three)
And Discovery is up.

Godspeed old girl. Come back safely.
hildy89: (big sleep)
So, what? The only nights I get any sleep are signs of trouble in London?

If anyone missed yesteryay's Google Moon, Wallace and Gromit are very unhappy with you.

NASA is going to give one last try for a shuttle launch on Tuesday. I seem to remember that launch window ends at the end of the month.

"Film franchises go way back to the Thin Man": Lovely article on the history of the "Thin Man" series of movies and their relation to the current trend towards sequels. They're releasing the whole series on DVD on August 2nd, with an extra dvd on the making of the movies.
hildy89: (gunslinger)
The weather has continued to be horrible. We had sleet changing to snow on the way home from work, making the walk home a little dicier. But I stayed on my feet, which was a nice change from last year.

Some exciting science news about first signs of oxygen and carbon outside our solar system. The slightly depressing news? This spectacular find was discovered by the Hubble telescope. Apparently there is a growing outcry about the decision, including a petition. I read an article in Aviation Week talking about the removal options for the telescope and it only depressed me further. If they were going to spend that much money and effort to bring her down, why don't they just perform the upgrades instead?
hildy89: (skating)
NASA cancels all shuttle flights to service the Hubble telescope

Damn. I was a little afraid of this. They're going to let Hubble slowly degrade, rather than service her. Bush's new space initiative apparently doesn't extend to upkeep on the telescope. They have to focus the shuttle missions on finishing the International Space Station. Never mind the amount of scientific research for those space missions they could do with the Hubble.

I've always had a fondness for Hubble. In my first session at Space Academy in Huntsville, our EVA mission was to work on the Hubble. It was one of the rare good news to come after the tragedy of Challenger, though there was the amusing time they had to retrofit her with new lenses, in effect giving her a new prescription.

Farewell Hubble. You showed us the universe and beyond.
hildy89: (skating)
Today was cold. I don't think I really need to go further than that. I had good intentions of going to the CVS writing marathon at Panera. I must have just missed a bus at the Metro station. After a bitterly cold wait for nearly an hour, I opted to go home to warmth as I was having trouble feeling hands, toes and face. Very frustrating experience.

I came home to work on laundry and watch US Nationals. My skating comments are over in [livejournal.com profile] mad_season. I was mostly happy with the results with a few disappointing exceptions. Worlds should be interesting anyway. They're being held in Dortmund, Germany this year.

And clearly I am my father's daughter. The NASA channel is one of his favorite ones, watching mission briefings and Q&A sessions all the time. I've replaced my desktop background with one of Mars. I read an interesting article about the science fiction reaction to the Mars exploration. [livejournal.com profile] sailormac had mentioned that she hadn't seen any signs of little men in Roman armor wandering around the surface. And alas, I didn't seen any fuzzy red aliens with sneakers either... poor Gossamer.
hildy89: (cleo)
And my connections to Columbia continue to show up in unexpected ways. I learned to my sorrow that one of the lost astronauts, David Brown, mission specialist, was a graduate of my high school in Arlington. The Washington Post profile on Brown even says he carried a flag from the school on board.

Last night, trying to find some solace where I could, I dug out my old space filk tape "Minus Ten and Counting". The tape is filled with songs about the space exploration and space race, recorded before Challenger was probably even named, much less synonymous with space disaster. I remembered "Fly Columbia" but I had forgotten the lines from Jordin Kare's "Fire in the Sky" describing Columbia:

"Came a shuttle named Columbia, to open up the way.
And they said she's just a truck, but she's a truck that's aiming high.
See her big jets burning, see her fire in the sky."


The song was later updated for the Challenger disaster, intended to be included on an album for the National Space Society. The album also includes Leslie Fish's "Hope Eyrie" which I quoted in my last entry. A song about the moon landing, "Hope Eyrie" also had the honor of being played as a wake up call for the astronauts on one mission.

I hadn't watched television at all yesterday. I hadn't known that Buzz Aldrin had quoted part of the song until reading Peggy Noonan's column in the Wall Street Journal. For me, it had just seemed right for the moment to hear those songs. Obviously I was not alone.

Columbia

Feb. 1st, 2003 01:56 pm
hildy89: (cleo)
I have always been fond of Columbia. I went to the US Space Academy in Huntsville two times. My first time I was assigned to the Columbia team. I took pride in that association. The only IMAX movie I enjoyed, without feeling nauseous, was "Hail Columbia". We saw it just before our mission. Maybe it rubbed off because we were named the best mission of the session. I was *damned* proud of that moment. Even a high school friend getting the Right Stuff award later couldn't dampen that one bit.

As a some twist of irony, I was there at Cape Canavarel over Christmas when Columbia was on the launch pad. I was disappointed I couldn't get a good view of the orbiter from the observation deck, just the tips of her rocket boosters. I even remember asking about a t-shirt for the Columbia mission, out of nostalgia, but they were still selling the previous Atlantis mission.

I remember Challenger. God, I remember that day. I was in high school at the time, a sophomore. I learned the news and sat there in shock. Space shuttles didn't blow up. They just didn't. Then I saw the footage and the reactions of the crowd below when they made the announcement. I remember the way everyone sat watching the first mission after Challenger, praying and worrying.

Damnit, they still shouldn't blow up!

*breaks down crying*

Worlds grow old and suns grow cold
And death we never can doubt.
Time's cold wind, wailing down the past,
Reminds us that all flesh is grass
And history's lamps blow out.
-- "Hope Eyrie", Leslie Fish
hildy89: (Default)
I've been interested in the space program for as long as I can remember. The following will date myself nicely and I don't care. My parents grew up with the moon race, but I'm from the shuttle generation. My mother recalls being in school and informed not to change classes so Shepard or Glenn could go safely into space. I remembered being a sophomore in high school hearing that "something" had happened to the shuttle. That something was Challenger. I remembered the shuttle launch after Challenger when everyone watched numb-knuckled hoping upon hope. I went to Space Camp/Academy for two summers, flying on the Columbia team.

Now my parents have moved to the Space Coast. They were watching the last Endeavour landing on the NASA channel when they heard the twin boom. Yes, that was the shuttle landing not quite in their backyard. We visited the Kennedy Space Center today which is an impressive place, drawing several million visitors a year. And all several million seemed to be there today! The lines were long and the Florida weather was brisk and windy. By some coincidence, the next shuttle was on the launch pad ready to go up in January. The shuttle was my old friend Columbia. Unfortunately the lookout point didn't give a really good view of the orbiter, just a little orange bit of the solid rocket booster sticking up. The Apollo Center was much more interesting with the massive Saturn V rocket and presentations on Apollo VIII's launch and Apollo XI's moon landing. Mom and I had forgotten how many problems the moon lander had encountered during that trip. Usually history books remember they landed on the moon, not how many times they lost radio or computer contact.

Over dinner, we talked about what had happened with the space race. Dad honestly thinks that they lost something when they got to the moon. We send up the shuttle but nothing seems to come of it. The moon has been forgotten, although the Chinese are talking about going. I pointed out the Hubble telescope and other scientific discoveries, but he was right. We weren't trying to explore new planets, sending little drones and robots. My own thought was that Kennedy gave them one goal to the moon, but no one thought to extend that further to the next goal. After you've scaled the mountain, where do you go from there?

Oddly tonight, I'm wishing I could watch Apollo 13 again.

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