Monday, February 22, 2010

Space Shuttle

track of Endeavor 02212010What a thrill! Last night, purely by chance, we happened to see in the western sky the space shuttle Endeavor as it was descending towards its landing at the Kennedy Space Center less than a quarter hour later. Under a filling crescent moon it drew a fast, bold, unwavering golden line across the clear dark sky as it passed stage left to stage right in probably less than a minute.

Jaded as we 21st-centenarians are, we theorized only a ‘military jet’ would be so fast, and so high as to be lit hours after sunset. But the moments of mystery and wonder were attenuated. Someone in the anchorage knew the details right away and broadcast them on the VHF: Endeavor returning home after a two-week flight to the International Space Station. Ordinary con-trails in the sky are starting to give me the creeps, but I’m glad I saw this.

Also aloft, perhaps, is our long-awaited new Beta 43 engine, which is scheduled to arrive in Miami, by air (incongruous, eh?), on Tuesday. There are still a number of hoops and hurdles to be negotiated before we meet face-to-fanbelt, but we are more than ready to get this project moving, and completed.

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