Image courtesy NASA
Despite initially “iffy” weather reports, Endevaour was given the all-clear to land at Kennedy Space Center late last night, completing an almost two-week mission to the International Space Station where the crew installed a new node and the Cupola. The impressive seven-window addition has already offered up stunning pictures of earth.
Image courtesy NASA
ISS crew member, Soichi Noguchi has been populating his Twitter stream with frequent images, each one better than the next. Be sure to check out his picture of astronaut Stevie “Ray” Robinson inside the cupola, guitar in hand and a gorgeous Earth view in the background, as well as Soichi’s image of the shuttle Endeavour as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere last night.
I was inspired by last night’s landing to tackle a project I’ve had brewing for a while: embroidering a shuttle’s deorbit map.
Endeavour’s landing brought to a close a few spectacular weeks as I’ve followed and covered the crew through the mission, and made some great friends along the way. I’ve been lucky enough to have some incredible experiences, like watching the crew walkout to the astrovan (not once, but twice! Scrubs have their advantages.) And watching the launch from one of the best spots possible, as well as participating in the NASA Tweetup at Johnson Space Center in Houston last week. While in Houston, I was able to partake in a launch and landing simulation in the actual motion-based simulator in which the astronauts train. It was an amazing experience that few get to have, and I was incredibly thankful for the opportunity. Shuttle sim supervisor, Mike Grabois, made it possible, and walked us through the launch and landing.
My flying partner that day was an actual pilot, so he took the controls for landing. While we didn’t get to experience the motion portion of the simulator, we went from T-2 minutes through launch and then landing. Everything was running just as it does in an actual launch. It was thrilling. So thrilling, in fact, that I laughed hysterically through most of the sim. This is reason 481 I probably wouldn’t make a good astronaut: I’d be too giddy to focus. Rick, who was in the commander seat that day, posted a short video from the sim. You’ll get a little taste of what we experienced, just pay no attention to my unending laughter, OK?
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