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Old 03-07-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
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Hail Discovery!

Tonight I watched footage of the final undocking of our Space Shuttle discovery from the ISS. In 1984, just a year after my High school graduation, this special spacecraft lifted off for it's maiden voyage. Construction of the vehicle actual began in 1979.

Discovery has traveled over 140 million miles and has spent almost one year in space.

I'm not sure how or why, but sometimes when I leave for a campout with my Safari in tow, it almost seems like I'm on my own "space mission". I prep for the travel, complete my intend goals, and return home safely. It's almost ironic that Discovery is only about a decade newer than my "old" trailer. Perhaps these two icons of America share many of the same personality traits.

The Discovery crew today was awaken with a rendition of "to boldly go" specially modified for the Discover orbiter. As expected, William Shatner recorded it. http://www.youtube.com/user/NASAtelevision

Wednesday will be a very special day when Discovery touches down for the final time. It will be a long time before we have another moment like this is our space history. Please take the time to make your kids pay attention to why this is important. It is likely that our next substantial manned space program will be some time off. Our next era will belong to our children. Much like I learned about space via the Apollo program, our youth today will be educated through the space shuttle.

Maybe Wednesday instead of watching Law & Order or playing Wii, flick on NASA TV for an hour. As my friends at Estes rockets say "Ignite your imagination"!
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
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So very true.....and so we go....
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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She's safely on the earth once more. Next stop Washington DC......
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:32 PM   #4
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Another near perfect mission, so sad that it is Discovery's final one.
Hoping that the final missions of Endeavor and Atlantis are as successful as discovery's was. I will miss them all.
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:56 PM   #5
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It's almost as old as my Airstream! My trailers still going strong and the shuttle is being retired...

Mind you my Airstream's got way less miles on it... and likely would not have survived even one re-entry ;-)
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:01 PM   #6
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It was bittersweet to watch her return home this afternoon. The KICS (Kennedy Integrated Control Schedule = I think...) schedule for that orbiter, OV-103/Discovery, now lists her next mission (which changes at landing each time) now as "T&R" rather than "STS-XXX". After 22 years, I am accustom to seeing the STS-XXX number.... T&R stands for Transition & Retirement. Absolutely amazing. She also used to dominate a the third, and newest OPF (Operational Processing Facility) for her horizontal ground processing. This time she went to OPF #2 because OPF-3 is being readied for leasing. All the flight hardware and personnel who have been stationed in OPF-3 are being moved out by @ April 10. After that date, none of us will have access to those facilities. I was here when the massive processing structures were assembled in OPF-3 and were acquired from Palmdale. Well, there is plenty of room in the OPF-1/2 area for the personnel & equipment. As both have significantly declined in the past few months. I was shocked when I walked to the usual landing viewing area to find less than 2 dozen people watching. There used to be 100's. The parking was 3/4 empty --- a year ago we were parking on the grass for daily work.... Sorry for the rambling - lots of observations made today while roaming the area.
Laura
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