Friday, July 27, 2007

More Launch Information

I think it is finally starting to set in that I am actually going to get to see a space shuttle launch. I am trying to not get too excited because I know that there is a good chance that the shuttle will be delayed, possibly past the date when I have to come back to Liberty. Last night I was able to book my flight to Florida. It was way more expensive than I thought it was going to be. The one thing that kind of stinks about this is that I have to pay to get down there and also for my hotel room while I am there. The good news is that there are four of us going that are friends and we are splitting some of the cost. I am including some links below that I thought were interesting. Check them out. There is a lot of information there about the shuttle and the launch.

One of the coolest web sites that I want to mention before I forget is the Launch Blog. It is a blog, just like this one. The difference is that this is done during the countdown. The web site is actually not activated until several hours before the launch. It is cool because if you don’t have NASA TV you can still follow along with what is going on in Florida. It is literally updated every few minutes. Check it out on launch day.

Right now I am on my way home from Springfield and the math academy. It was a pretty fun week. We ate at Lambert’s last night, home of the throwed rolls. They literally chuck the rolls across the room and you have to catch them. I think I ate five of the huge rolls. They were sooo good.

While I had a couple of minutes and my mind is on space stuff, I thought I would tell you about something I saw at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. They had a full size model of the Mars Rover. The Mars rover program was started three years ago. NASA sent two rovers, sprit and opportunity, to Mars. They were supposed to last for 90 days. They are still going 3 years later. I followed along with the rovers early on. They have some amazing pictures on the web site. I thought that when I heard about rovers that they were little bitty robots about the size of a big remote controlled car. What I didn’t realize is that they are HUGE. They are over 6 feet tall when their camera tower is extended. Take a look at the picture below. I am 6’3” tall. These things are big. While in the Space Foundation class in Colorado, I learned that they are getting ready to send another rover to Mars and this one will be a lot bigger than the one I am standing next to. Wow, that is going to be enormous! The name of the next lander is called Phoenix. Click on the link to see the NASA web site.

Here are the web addresses I mentioned earlier.
STS-118 Main Site
STS-118 Education Site

STS-118 Photo Gallery – I think this will be updated often, especially after the launch.
Main NASA web site
Launch Blog – not activated until 6 hours before launch

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