Repost: Ellusive Orion

We came all this way to explore the moon, but the most important thing is we discovered the Earth
—- William Anders, Apollo 8

“T-6 minutes”
“T&E Launch enable to enable”
“GE Launch enable to enable”
“OSM Launch enable to enable”
“T-5 minutes”
“Coming up to our hold in 5,4,3,2,1”
“Four minutes and holding, this is a 15 minute built-in hold.”
“Vehicle transferred to internal”
“3 minutes 32 seconds and holding”
“Hold, Hold, Hold”
“We have a hold. ALC reason for hold?”
“Ground winds”

This past week, I and maybe half the country and more from around the world converged on the Florida Space Coast at Kennedy Space Center for the scheduled launch of Orion Spacecraft, the future shuttle for manned space flight to Mars and beyond.

NASA’s Orion  is a Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle built to transport humans farther than they have ever been, to Mars and beyond. It will serve as an exploration vehicle that will carry and sustain the crew in space, and provide safe re-entry back to Earth. It’s design is similar to the cone shaped capsule used during Apollo missions, only Orion is bigger and better. Orion can carry 6 crew members and is built with the latest avionics–glass cockpit digital control systems and advanced computer systems.

Continue to read here.

Repost: Lost in Space

Nineteen years ago…

Columbia: Aftermath

Once in a while we come across some events that reach deep into our hearts and make us cry out ‘Why?’. The answers are not easy and take time.

One fine Saturday morning, when most of the country was fast asleep, many not even aware that there was a mission in progress, and that, the Columbia Spacecraft was scheduled to return to earth after a successful mission. Columbia was the first ever shuttle to fly in April of 1981. After 27 successful missions, it was destroyed during reentry on Feb 1.

Continue to read here.