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Space Shuttle Discovery’s Final Flight

March 1, 2011

In an alternate reality I’m 6′ 2″ and 215 pounds of muscley ripness, my vision is 20/20, I have a degree in Aeronautics and Aviation, I’ve been flying fighter planes for 6 years now and am on my way to becoming as astronaut.  Oh…and I would also have an alternate reality star trek goatee. As it is…I’m a 5′ something turd, my vision is lousy, I never graduated from college, the last time I was in an airplane was about 5 years ago and my facial hair grows in patches. (I have no idea how I’m married…)  I figured out fairly early that my life was more than likely going to be spent planet-side but that has never dampened my love of the space program.  I’ve watched almost every single shuttle launch and for years now, since they’ve streamed online,I watch NASA TV at least some pretty much every day.  And during an active mission I have it on all the time.

This past summer on our vacation we spent a day at the Kennedy Space Center, which was amazing! It was SO much fun geeking out on all that history. Seeing the ships and suits. Old memorabilia! Going in the launch control center exhibit they have. The full sized Saturn V rocket exhibit.  And the new Shuttle Experience ride was really fun.  It’s a day that I wish I could have stretched into a WEEK so that I really could have investigated every detail of the place. It’s a MUST SEE if you’re even remotely interested in aviation or space exploration.  Of everything that we saw the WHOLE day the best thing was the launch of the Falcon IV rocket. That was unbelievable!! We heard and felt the rumble so we ran out to look toward the launch pad…and there it was. Man that thing was LOUD!! And fast! WOOSH!!! Amazing.  It’s a moment I’ll never forget.

The past Friday was the final launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. STS-133, commanded by Steven Lindsey and piloted by Eric Boe, is docked with the International Space Station right now delivering Express Logistics Carrier 4, a Multipurpose Module and spare parts and scientific experiments.  Also on board is Robonaut-2 (known to the team as R2) which is the “first dexterous humanoid robot in space” which is itself a fantastic machine!!  I don’t want to get too far into it…but do yourself a favor and head over to Nasa.gov and read up about it.  But after 38 missions we’re seeing the final flight of Discovery. I’m sad to see the sun setting on the Shuttle program but I’m excited to see how NASA is going to evolve.  I believe there may eventually be real hope of getting me into space one day.

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