Tuesday, November 2

Last Trip for America's Oldest Space Shuttle

This week at the Cafe, we're discussing what's In The News. Maybe it's because I'm the daughter of a NASA aerospace engineer (or rocket scientist, as we like to call him), but I like to know what's going on in outer space. I love watching shuttle launches from Kennedy Space Center, and I'm happy to say there's going to be another one tomorrow!

The Discovery is America's oldest space shuttle, beginning its career in 1984. Since then, it's made 38 trips and flown over 142 million miles. The first female shuttle pilot, Eileen Collins, flew the Discovery in 1995, and back in 1988, the oldest astronaut, John Glen, went up in the Discovery at 77 years old.

On Wednesday, November 3 at 3:52 PM (weather permitting), the Discovery will launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, its final trip into space before going into retirement. Its mission is to transport 6 American astronauts to the International Space Station (a project my dad has worked on) so they can attach a pressurized logistics module (just a fancy way of saying "storage area") and drop off Robonaut 2, a human-like robot that will become a permanent resident of the space station. This mission will mark the fourth and final one of 2010.

Have you ever watched a space shuttle launch? Have you ever visited space museums? Would you ever like to go into space someday?


kathryn said...

One of the best family vacations we took was to the Kennedy Space Center. We had more fun there than we did at the stuffy little amusement park we stopped at on the way home.

Wendy Toliver said...

Cool! I love going there, too.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Went to NASA when I was a kid. As for the other, I think I might already be in space.

Jenny Moss said...

I was a NASA engineer at JSC before writing full-time -- and saw a few launches (one night launch, very cool!) & got on the pad a couple of days before a shuttle launch (& even have a pic from that experience!).

It's sad to see the shuttle program winding down. It was exciting work, times.

Amanda Ashby said...

Wendy - wow that's so cool about your dad! I've never seen a space shuttle and I must admit that the idea of going into space makes me feel ill, but I'm glad that other people are more intrepid than I am!!!!

Melissa Walker said...

I loved the movie SPACE CAMP, so I'm slightly obsessed with NASA stuff and we went to the space center the last time I was in Florida--so cool! Also: I'm into astronaut ice cream.