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Old 06-13-2008, 07:47 PM   #1
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Smile Beyond Cool!

How did I not know about this?

A friend of mine is in space right now, Mark Kelly--the commander of the current shuttle mission.

Meet the Astrovan.

From Wikipedia:

"The Astrovan is a NASA vehicle used to transport astronauts to the launch pad before a launch mission. The current model, a modified Airstream Excella motorhome, has been in use since the beginning of the Space Shuttle program in 1981. Similar models have been used since the beginning of the space program."

"It has a special built-in cooling system for the astronauts to plug in their orange-colored launch and entry suits, so the astronauts do not get overheated during the trip to the launch pad."

I was there for the launch but five miles away, so I didn't see the Astrovan in person. I'll have to get Mark to arrange a tour for me!

He's on the far right in the photo--which I am attaching (or trying to, not sure how this works here . . . )
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:22 PM   #2
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Great story and picture. Thanx
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:25 PM   #3
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Cool AS...cool pic...cool that you know someone "up there"! Just cool all the way around!
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:44 PM   #4
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When I look at the photo, it's easy to think it's a photo from the 1960s or early 1970s . . . but this was less than 14 days ago in 2008. Go NASA! And go Mark and crew. Here's to a safe landing tomorrow.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:18 AM   #5
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NASA: National AirStream association? HHHMMMMMMMmm
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
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NASA: National AirStream association? HHHMMMMMMMmm
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Old 06-14-2008, 12:32 PM   #7
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1:10 p.m. EDT, Saturday - Nearly two hours after Discovery's smooth touchdown at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the STS-124 crew members have left the runway in the same Airstream "Astrovan" that delivered them to the launch pad two weeks ago. This concludes comes after a 5.7-million-mile mission to the International Space Station.

Welcome home Mark and crew!

Yee haw.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:44 PM   #8
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A note to TBRich . . . shuttle commander Mark Kelly is married to a famous Tucson resident . . . U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:51 PM   #9
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I've been told that this Airstream motorhome probably has fewer than 3,000 miles, even though it's been in constant use for almost three decades.
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Old 06-23-2008, 10:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utahredrock View Post
I've been told that this Airstream motorhome probably has fewer than 3,000 miles, even though it's been in constant use for almost three decades.
That's what happens when you start it up, drive it 4 miles, and shut it off for 3 months.
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