Has it really been 5 years?


Discovery Final Fly By

How ironic is it that it was Discovery that did the flyby today over Washington DC, amidst the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol? Atop a Boeing 747, it soared over the Nation’s Capital at 1500 ft waving a final goodbye before gliding to a landing at it’s final resting place: National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, VA.

After a sweeping low flyby past the Washington Monument, it looped over the National Mall not once but twice, slow, silent yet graceful. Past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Capitol, The White House, Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial. After two graceful loops over the mall, she finally bid adieu headed up the Potomac River past the SW Waterfront,  Reagan National Airport and finally Dulles International Airport. Crowds thronged the mall and other lookout areas taking a break from school, work and other activities to catch a glimpse of history, anxious to snap a photo and discuss the times they had watched a shuttle launch out in Titusville.

When NASA announced the end of the Space Shuttle Missions in 2010, it was finally now or never. It was STS 133 launch that I was scheduled to watch. After several failed attempts to procure KSC launch tickets, my friends and I managed to buy the Dolphin Tours Causeway launch package for STS-133 which was scheduled to liftoff on Nov 1st, 2010. As fate willed it, after waiting almost a week in Florida with daily postponements to the next day, STS-133 launch got scrubbed and re-scheduled for Feb 24th, 2011 when Discovery  accomplished it’s final mission before being retired from service.

It was to be never for me since I have never watched a Shuttle launch or landing. So it is especially a bitter sweet moment to finally see Discovery not on a launchpad strapped to solid rocket boosters 10 miles away blasting off gracefully to space on a crimson and pristine predawn Florida sky but 1500 ft above Washington DC, piggybacked on a Boeing 747.

Discovery  and so we finally meet 🙂

See Also:

Atlantis: Final Flight 
SpaceShipOne Government Zero
SpaceShipOne and I
I touched SpaceShipOne
Lost in Space

Earth Rise


Happy Earth Day

Sunday is Earth Day!

Earthrise

Courtesy: William Anders, NASA

The final decision on who took this historic photograph was decided finally this past January.

Happy Earth Day 2018!

Links

Save Tangier, Please!


Re-post from last year.

 

 

Okay, by now I have been to Tangier multiple times.

I even got the coveted VA Ambassador Stamp last October. As it happens although our original plan was to fly to Ocracoke Island and First Flight airport, we had to change our plans due to my school schedule.

Instead, we ended up flying to Tangier again on an  impromptu flight with the flight out group (FOG)  on Sunday. Five aircraft with 14 people ended up at Tangier for lunch at Lorraine’s this holiday weekend. There was much camaraderie, hanger flying, and excellent flying, since the weather was perfect, and  the airspace clear.

Tangier on the other hand is still doing none the better since obviously, whatever anyone says and does, it will disappear one day.  We might be okay calling it fake news, ignore climate change and science, and live in a world of alternate facts.

But nature in the end always wins.

Just this past week, Shelly Island appeared.

This is what we saw when we were in Tangier back in October 2016.

Ultimately, we all pay for our mistakes.

Hopefully, we realize our mistakes, and do something about it, before it is too late!

 

Links:

The Twilight of Tangier
Belief’s won’t save Tangier
Trump tells Tangier Mayor not to worry about sea-level rise
Save Tangier Island
Trump’s call fuels fund raiser

Note: All photos courtesy of Gert.

Fresh on Fridays: More Falwell


Courtesy Gert

Timelapse of the Entire Universe


On a cosmic time scale, human history is as brief as the blink of an eye. By compressing all 13.8 billion years of time into a 10 minute scale, this video shows just how young we truly are, and just how ancient and vast our universe is. Starting with the big bang and culminating […]

via Timelapse of the Entire Universe — Charly W. Karl