Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I think it is interesting to learn things about people that you might not know naturally. The thing that most people might not know about me is that I try to keep up on what is happening in space. I certainly do not understand everything, but I find it extremely interesting to learn more about what is happening in the "great beyond." I would venture to say that the average person does not realize how much the study of space benefits us in our daily lives.
One of the great advantages of living in south Florida is that we can actually see the rocket take off into the sky. I receive e-mails from NASA when a launch is upcoming. It is so neat to find out their mission and follow how things are going. When it actually gets to launch day, I log on to live NASA and go behind the scenes to see everyone getting ready for the big event. I find it fascinating to see how much preparation and details goes into this kind of thing. I watch them get their space suits on and strapped into their seats. I don't want anyone messing with the computer when it gets close to countdown. I have been known to turn the live TV on hours before and just listen to them talk as I go about my day. I can check the screen if there is anything I want to see. When it gets close to take-off, I gather the family around and we all watch. After the blast-off, we go outside and hope to see the real thing in the sky. If there is no cloud cover, we can watch it for a few seconds and then it disappears into.....space. It always blows me away when I walk back into the house and resume the news from NASA. They explain that they are 300 miles from earth within 1 minute of launching traveling at a speed of 17,500 miles an hour. I just saw them a few seconds ago. INCREDIBLE!
We also had the privilege of hearing them come back to earth one time. That was some experience. When they broke into the atmosphere, I thought they had landed on my house. I talked to people latter that said they thought there had been a train wreck or something significant.
As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I love to read. I have an excellent book about space that will be required reading for my kids, especially by boys. The title is HIGH CALLING. I came across this biography by Evelyn Husband. She is the widow of Rick Husband, commander of Columbia. I remember that sad day when they did not successfully re-enter the earth's atmosphere. When I read this book, I developed a new appreciation for space and for this dear family. Rick was a devout Christian and devoted husband and father. He was good friends with Steve Green who came to watch his launch. It was so neat to gain a better understanding of what a person has to go through to be an astronaut, learn what their family life is like, and most importantly, see how God is carrying them through the tragedy of losing someone they dearly loved.
By the way, Discovery is scheduled to launch this Saturday, May 31st, at 5:02 p.m This mission is to deliver the Kibo science lab modem to the International Space Station. If my memory serves me correctly, it has taken 3 missions to get all of the equipment that they need to complete this project. Oh, and did you know that Phoenix has successfully landed on Mars? This robot has touched down on the surface to study water and the possible conditions of life. It traveled at 12,000 mph. It was a 10 month journey and over 400 million miles of travel. (And here I thought it took a long time to get to Kentucky from Florida)
I guess it is so neat to think that God is beyond our comprehension, yet he chooses to know us in a personal way. It truly is awesome. We can enjoy learning more yet we only scratch the surface of what is really out there. Did you ever wonder what heaven will be like? Absolutely more that we could ever imagine!!
This is what it looks like from our front porch.
Up, up, and away!