Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shuttle's Safely Back Home!


I've never been soooo happy to be so wrong, the space shuttle Endeavour , all 4 million pounds of her, and her crew landed safely at Kennedy Space Center at 12:32 EDT, here's hoping and praying it was good science and not good luck that brought them home.


The picture above was taken from shuttle Endeavour as she was pulling away from the International Space Station. I saw this live as the shuttle was leaving the space station Sunday on NASA TV, it was simply stunning! You can see the boot shaped Italy in the background, like a map come to life.

The shuttle and space station orbit around 250 Nautical miles (about 287 regular miles) above the Earth, when you think about it, it's not that far away, just think about a city or town that far away from you and that's how far the space station is traveling above you when it's overhead. One thing that really stood out when I was watching the shuttle orbit Earth, is our planet looked so peaceful, fragile and finite, oh and by the way I didn't notice any lines separating the countries, no names either, man has done that. By looking at the mostly blue and white globe you'd never guess there was so much conflict going on below. I don't usually get so philosophical, but whenever I think of the vastness of space or the smallness of our planet I'm overwhelmed. God has given us an oasis in the middle of what seems like nowhere, in the harshest environment known to man, what do we do?, we cut it up, pollute it to the max and then perform all kinds of genocide, not cool.



On a lighter note, we are just one week away from the total Lunar eclipse Tuesday August 28th. 3:54 am EDT. And guess what folks, my forecast is looking just great! Unfortunately my calculations for that time in the morning put the Moon right behind the neighbors trees. This means I will be toting my scope and camera to the park across the street, so if I'm not arrested or worse yet mugged I should have some nicest pics.

15 comments:

Scruffyhippo said...

I look forward to the pictures, I'm getting all excited :)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks, I just hope the weather holds out!

Rose said...

I'm glad they are home safely.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Rose, me too!

Anna said...

Hey Bob, did you send rain this way. I was hoping for total half moon today, instead we got this crazy scary coulds, probably Mr Hur Dean send them over. Anyway, I really like today's post. The more I read your blog, the more I can see that you really have real passion for the stuff in the outerspace. And thanks God the folks arrived home safe...
Anna :)

PS How do you calculate where the moon is going to be on the sky? Now I know about the times when the moon shows up, but I still have to run around my house to find it, back, front or sometimes all the way to the local playground. Help!

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Anna, the same program, www.skyviewcafe.com, It shows what part of the sky it will be in at any particular time for your city, just click on the link on my site, that will bring up another screen, click on use the skyview planetarium now. On the next screen go to your right, click on find, which will bring up another screen, type in your city/ province, or city/state in the following format, eg. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, you have to have a comma, and space between the city and province. click on search, it will then find your city, click okay, and your good to go,now your planetarium will be your specific site, now you have the options of choosing what you want on the planetarium, by check marking off what you want to view below the location settings. On the left top choose a time and date and if the moon is out it will show you on the planetarium, and the phase it is in at that time, you can actually put the date and time to the 28th of august to see where the moon is going to be, by using the arrow keys at the top left of the planetarium screen next to the time and date area, my moon is going to be low; dead center south at 1:46 am, If you need any more help you can email me. hope this makes sense.

Anna said...

Thanks Bob for the explanation. I will try it out.
Anna :)

self taught artist said...

Have you seen this article?
thought of you when i saw this :)

Bob Johnson said...

Anna, if you have any problems let me know.

Paula, yes I know about it, thanks for the info. I have Starry night right now, but I will probably download google add on as well, thanks for the link and thinking of me

Anna said...

I will let you know. I been on home renevation vacation, got back to office and scrambling with work. I will check it out on the weekend, and I will get back to you. Thanks again, Anna :)

Andrea said...

I'm happy they made it home safely.

zunnur said...

Sometimes, its kind of scary when thinking that, we, human beings are living on a "ball" at the middle of nowhere, so dark and silent, and I also used to think if there is another earth with human beings living on it, in another galaxy far away ?!?

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Andrea, Thanks for dropping by and me too.

Hi zunnur, I think about that stuff all the time, there's gotta be other beings out there somewhere.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Totally amazing blog!!! I'm relieved the shuttle landed too.

I'll come back to read more because your blog ROCKS!!!

Happy Lunar Eclipse monitoring. :D It's always awesome to watch.

JJ

Bob Johnson said...

nature nut/jj loch, thank you very much for your comment, I hope the weather cooperates!