Happy June! It will soon be the first anniversary of this little blog. There have been fewer pictures lately because someone has been very busy finishing a project. The actual unveiling will await some last-minute touches and one more approval, but you will enjoy it. This technology will make human spaceflight safer and far more comfortable.
38 current and former NASA astronauts assembled Friday to be first on Kennedy Space Center's new Space Shuttle Experience. In front are Robert Crippen and John Young, crew of the first Columbia mission. Also along for the ride are Rick Searfoss, Charles Bolden, Norman Thagard, Buzz Aldrin, Guy Bluford and Al Worden. The motion simulator at the KSC Visitor Complex is designed to simulate the sensations of a real mission.
Even before the ride, KSC has been an inspirational place to visit. As this is written, shuttle Atlantis has completed Flight Readiness Review for a June 8 launch. STS-117 was originally scheduled for March, but was delayed when the external tank was damaged by hailstones. (What I am building will be tougher than that.)
Atlantis' last planned flight will be STS-125 to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. 3 weeks ago at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, the crew of that mission met with some very enthusiastic astronomers. Both scientists and the public lobbied hard to rescue HST. Their mission is currently scheduled for September '008, but you need patience in this business.
As readers of this blog know, the chances of getting into Space via NASA are slim. So who wants to be an astronaut? However, the growing pool of under-employed people with NASA training represents a valuable resource. Former astronauts are already taking posts at private Space companies.
Nearby Universal Theme Parks in Orlando has just announced a Harry Potter attraction for '009. There is no signature on this Owl-eye view, but the art resembles Thomas Kinkade. Theme park fans will note that Hogwart's Castle is the "weenie." Leading there is a Diagon Alley to be lined with restaurants and shops. Hogwart's Express is parked near where Disney placed a real steam train. In '009 Virgin and Benson are promising suborbital passenger flights. If they are not flying by then, you can still have a great holiday in Florida.