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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Space Shuttle...

For 3 days now I've been watching C-SPAN for the launch of the shuttle. It was cancelled for weather reasons and then delayed because a piece of foam fell off.. Today, the 4th of July it is once again on schedule for lift-off.

As I sit here watching the television all the memories of the early flights are uppermost. The times I watched that tiny capsule with 3 men in it go up into the unknown, and then watch for the shoots to deploy for splash down.

Back then I could tell you all the names of the astronauts, today I cannot. I think that's pretty sad. It isn't that I don't hold an interest anymore, because I do. But they sure don't cover it like they used to, and it doesn't seem to be as important to the government anymore or it never would have gotten to this low point.

I have read before that the shuttle flights will wind down and they will be preparing to once again return to the moon. I'll never understand what took them so long.

16 minutes to launch... (on hold)

I went off to get some photos for this post from the Nasa site... now at 9 min. and holding. I'll return after the blast off!

Blast off was a full success!!... but as in the "old days".. i still cried as I watched the shuttle leave the pad and reach for space. They will be gone 12 days and dock at the ISS (International Space Station). Here was the last update at the Nasa site before blast off... it also lists the names of the astronauts in space:

Countdown Continues - 1:30 p.m. Update
The astronauts are buckled into their seats inside Discovery's cabin. The close out crew has closed the hatch, but not before wishing the astronauts a successful flight. The STS-121 crew is going through final checks inside the orbiter to prepare for launch.

The launch countdown is progressing as planned, with launch expected today at 2:37:51 p.m.

NASA's Freedom Star and Liberty Star are in position for launch. Both recovery ships are currently stationed out in the Atlantic Ocean prepared to tow the solid rocket boosters back to Kennedy. The boosters will then be recycled and put back into service for another shuttle launch.

Steven Lindsey commands a crew of five American astronauts, Pilot Mark Kelly and Mission Specialists Michael Fossum, Lisa Nowak, Stephanie Wilson and Piers Sellers, and one astronaut from the European Space Agency, Thomas Reiter. This is the 18th U.S. flight to the International Space Station and the 32nd flight for Space Shuttle Discovery.

In Discovery's payload bay, the multi-purpose logistics module Leonardo, built by the Italian Space Agency, will deliver supplies, equipment and tools on its fourth trip to the station.

While docked, the STS-121 crew will test new equipment and procedures to improve shuttle safety, as well as make repairs to the station. Reiter will remain with the Expedition 13 crew on the station.

Wow... we've come a long way baby! But we have a longer way to go.

It was during my high school days that the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Programs began. They sure looked nothing like the Shuttle did today! The Astronauts back then had to squeeze into a really small capsule...

Above is a photo of the Mercury Capsule: The Liberty 7

Below is the Apollo 13 Capsule.

Just look at the difference in the equipment from today's launch to the Mercury Launch!

I guess you can tell that I am "into" our Space Program! heh.. ok, ok, I'll get off of the soap box and leave you with a link I have left before. They are photo's I took the day I met some of my HERO's... The older... but NOT forgotten Astronauts of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo "race for the moon". Please have a look at some of My Hero's!


Blogger parnellpr said...

Yay, another normal person who loves the old beauties....I've just written on this and would love your comments. The NASA website is amazing isn't it? Pippa

4:59 PM  
Blogger parnellpr said...

You met astronauts??? Soooo jealous of u. If I did I would just bore them to death for hours with questions I'm sure. Pippa

7:01 PM  
Blogger Bill, the Wildcat said...

Awesome entry, Pat! Some great pics. It does sadden me that the launches don't get the coverage they once did. You wouldn't think people could be so blah about something so amazing. I remember when every shuttle launch was a huge deal and all the networks would descend on Florida and do their entire newscasts from there.

9:14 PM  

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