Tuesday, July 26, 2005

NASA Space Shuttle Discovery: Return to Flight

The NASA Space Shuttle Discovery rocketed off launchpad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center today to jubilant cheers (and big sighs of relief) from "Space Fans" around the world. At the wheel of Mission STS 114 is Pilot James Kelly and Mission Commander Eileen Collins who will be heading up a team of 5 Mission Specialists. Eileen was the first woman to pilot a Shuttle Orbiter spacecraft on the joint U.S.A. / Russia Shuttle-to-MIR Program of the 1990's and later became the first woman to command a Space Shuttle mission. Eileen has been to Space 3 times and I have not been to Space even once yet! I cannot understand why NASA keeps turning down my applications to become an astronaut with all of my excellent qualifications on various flying machines dating back years!? Go figure that out.

It was exhilirating to finally watch this magnificent spacecraft take off without a hitch and reach the heavens in under 10 minutes with over a 100 cameras and 2 chase planes tracking every second until Discovery was safely out of sight. The live video footage of cameras attached to the outside of Discovery provided breathtaking views of the ship from liftoff until she entered Space with a great parting view of the Big Blue Marble (Earth) in the background.

For the best and most comprehensive coverage of this historical launch I would recommend NASA's very own website Return to Flight. Everything but everything a Space-O-Phile (Space Buff) could ever want and dream of is in there thanks to the web-savvy folks over at NASA.

CNN has good coverage of the launch today as well "Shuttle Returns to Flight" with links to information about the mission and cool science and technology stuff from NASA. And get this, CNN Space Correspondent Miles O'Brian was blogging LIVE from the launchpad today! That's right, Miles has a blog (this could be the beginning of the end for the Blogosphere, you talk about low... ). Maybe next time somebody can convince Miles O'Brian to videoblog LIVE from right underneath the Space Shuttle during liftoff. O.K., maybe that's a bit harsh. How about if Miles stands near enough to the engine exhausts to just singe his bushy eyebrows and quit? Can't CNN do better than this guy? What about Femi Oke, she would be a great Space Correspondent. Oder?

So NASA and the Shuttle Orbiter Program is Back in Business Bigtime today. I hope that kids all over the world, and especially you youngsters in developing nations, are dreaming of becoming an astronaut someday and piloting a cool spaceship like Discovery to the stars very soon. Everything is possible if you reach for the stars. Guaranteed!

In honor to the STS-107crew of the Space Shutlle Columbia.


007 in Africa said...

Greetings BRE. This is to reply not to your current post, but to the interesting comment you left on my blog a few days ago (sorry!).

Re: the voting equipment, I have no idea what the numbers of voting kits and materials are but I see that places to register for voting are popping up more and more in Kinshasa, and I've even seen registration signs here in Kindu! It's pretty exciting. Plus, those voting registration cards look really nice which means that they have adequate electricity sources, printers, paper, laminating machines, computers and cameras for the job.

Black River Eagle said...

Thanks for responding 007 in Africa. I was worried that I may be placing you at risk by even bringing the subject up. I'll pick this up over at your place.

007 in Africa said...

Thanks for all your comments! Frankly, I have no idea how estimates of the money needed for voting and the money used by MONUC are determined. The difference between the two are quite staggering though as you mention. It would be ideal if the international community could contribute to the voting efforts in Congo but I can also understand how frustating it is to help governments that don't seem to help themselves. That's all folks :)

vkk1_hypno said...
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