Thursday, June 7, 2007
My youngest brother, Danny, is in Florida again this week — waiting to see another shuttle launch.
He’s been to several, including one evidently very spectacular night launch.
I have to admit to being green with envy. I’d love to go to a launch!
He’s staying with friends from high school days while in Florida — Vicki and her husband — his best friends’ sister and Eric, his best friends’ youngest brother. Danny’s closest friends since he came to live with us at the age of 14 have been Steve and Paul Brigance — Danny lives in Munford, Tenn., still close to Steve and Paul, who live there also.
Danny and Vicki and her husband Wade, have planned a wonderful sounding day/evening picnic — they’re going to a pier/park area — taking coolers of food (and beer I’d bet) and plan to watch from their favorite spot, which is apparently as close as you can get to a launch.
Danny and I are fascinated with space and NASA and satellites and going to the moon. According to space.com, the USA has 413 satellites circling the globe. The entire rest of the world combined has 382.
Now, the space shuttle is carrying equipment (and probably a few more satellites “they” don’t want us to know about) to the International Space Station.
According to NASA’s website, www.nasa.gov, “the crew of STS-117 will deliver a second starboard truss segment and a third set of solar arrays and batteries during the Space Shuttle Program’s 21st mission to the International Space Station.”
And guess where we’re going after the space station is complete — not just back to the moon, but beyond — to Mars!
“NASA is moving forward with a new focus for the manned space program: to go out beyond Earth’s orbit for purposes of human exploration and scientific discovery.”
The space station will be used “as a stepping stone to future exploration.
“Using the space station and building an outpost on the moon to prepare for the trip to Mars are critical milestones in America’s quest to become a truly spacefaring nation. I think that we should want that. I want that. I want it for the American people, for my grandchildren, for my great-grandchildren,” said NASA administrator Mike Griffin.
Just think — what if Queen Isabella of Spain hadn’t helped Christopher Columbus “sail the ocean blue?”
Our “flat” earth was a very dangerous, scary place back then — some maps even said “here be dragons,” where the world ended back then.
Space is scary and dangerous and expensive. But Mars will surely be worth it!
How I’d love to go watch us head that way!
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