Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Sunita Williams, Indian American Astronaut


In December 2006, Sunita Williams became only the second woman of Indian descent to travel to outer space when she was launched on board Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station (ISS). Kalpana Chawla had become the first woman of Indian descent to travel to outer space when she flew on board Space Shuttle […]

via Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Sunita Williams, Indian American Astronaut — Transportation History

Delta 4 Launch!


Monday Morning Inspiration

You have often heard me rant about the many times I planned, re-planned, visited, waited and still missed a launch. So, in a freak, unexpected, and spur of the moment way, I watched a rocket launch. How weird is that?

Six years ago, I waited almost a week to watch Discovery launch. And came away disappointed.

Two years ago, I made the trek to Florida for the Orion launch. Waited all night, until the mission was scrubbed for the day. Next day, even though I was still in Florida, I chose to not make the trek back to Cape Canaveral for the second attempt the next day. Maybe, I was doomed from watching the launch. Since on this second day, the launch occurred flawlessly at the prescribed time!

Each time I plan a trip to Florida, I check the launch schedule, before I start making my travel plans. It was no different this time. Although, I saw a Delta IV rocket launch scheduled a few days ahead of my trip I knew I couldn’t weave it into my plans considering my extremely busy work and school schedule.

At 12:52 am, a Delta IV rocket launched flawlessly from Cape Canaveral separated from its boosters and went merrily about its mission. Watching NASA TV and the count down I knew the exact moment of the launch. Looking out of my hotel window which conveniently faced south I watched the rocket launch and disappear into orbit.

 No dramatic red glow, as the launch occurred. No camera shot. I neither had my SLR camera or my telephoto lens. Nor a pair of binoculars. And the cell phone shots were just white blobs.

Enjoy the high resolution launch by ULA.

I can finally say, I saw a rocket launch!

End of a Chapter: WhiteKnightOne’s Final Flight


SpaceShipOne touched the edge of space on June 21st 2004 and went on to win the X-Prize later that year. A triumphant Rutan and Melville flew in to Airventure 2005 in WhiteNightOne and SpaceShipOne. Of the SpaceShipOne: one resides at the Smithsonian in DC and the other at the EAA museum in Oshkosh. WhiteNightOne rests in Everett, WA as part of the Paul Allen Heritage Collection.

Fly 'n Things

Last month marked 10 years since the first commercial space flight. SpaceShipOne quietly tucked under the belly of its mother ship, WhiteKnightOne, flew successfully into outer space on June 21st, 2004. Although the flight into outer space and the return lasted barely 24 minutes, it accomplished what Rutan set out to prove: that commercial space flight is feasible. Two subsequent flights in September and October of the same year, demonstrated undeniably that it is not only possible but can be accomplished with short turn around time.

Oshkosh 09Scaled Composites went on to win the Ansari X-Prize and continues to build SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo with commercial space tourism in mind under the auspices  of Virgin Galactic. After the three successful flights, SpaceShipOne was retired, and now graces the front galley in the Smithsonian Air and Space Musuem in Washington, D.C. This week marked the end of the first phase of commercial space…

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I was there!


SpaceShipOne Memorabilia

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Links:

End of a Chapter: WhiteKnightOne’s Final Flight
Launching the Next Generation of Space Flight
SpaceShipOne and I
SpaceShip One,  Government Zero
I touched SpaceShip One!!!