Posts Tagged ‘space’

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Wonder Wednesday

October 3, 2018

Ah!  Check out this old map of the Ontario Science Centre.  I remember it well!  Many great memories of visiting and all the exhibits within… Lasers!  The giant And/Or logic circuit gate ball drop!  The miniature lift locks!  Shadow freezing!  Parabolic disk whispering!  And one of my ever-favs, this amazing 2-story contraption that required four people on bicycles to pump water to the top through a series of pipes that could then be released down more transparent pipes to run turbines that would power lights, fans, and a model train.  Great stuff, and a great axonometric map that shows it all.

Hilarious story:  In earlier versions, the map didn’t include the word “Exploring” before the word “Space”, and so for many years I never visited that tower, as my young mind translated that to “Empty Space”, like it must be some sort of strange store room ready for future expansion or something…  ah, silly me.  Especially given how much I loves me my space program and the wonders of outer space!

Bonus postscript:  The OSC building itself is quite nifty, a brutalist gem nestled within a lush forest heading down a steep incline.  The double bridge leading from the reception building to the tower building was amazingly serene and a nice transition from the everyday world behind that built excitement.  Traveling down the massive escalators to the valley building meant passing seemingly hundreds of trees.  The grand hall was indeed grand, and the towers suitably impressive areas for exhibits.  The mezzanines looking down on exhibits below let the eyes wander from wonder to wonder.  Visiting the building was as exciting for me as was what was in it.

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Wonder Wednesday

April 11, 2018

Aurora aurora burning bright…

sorry no real poem here,

you’re just a jaw dropping incredible sight

taking our breath away

across the inky blackness of night

photo of the “Dragon Aurora” by Marco Bastoni

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Wonder Wednesday

February 7, 2018

How could it not be about the Falcon Heavy?  Especially when this shot is so insanely wicked:

And this one is so darn pretty:

And these ones are equally epic:

And, of course, a bit of cruising music as you head out into the stars…

Truth be told, I’m still pretty giddy about that launch.  One amazing experience to witness live. (via livestream…)

(first photo by Brady Kenniston, the rest by SpaceX)

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Falcon Heavy: GO! GO! GO!

February 6, 2018

F-yeah!  I am jumping up and down here at work, an amazing liftoff, amazing flawless booster sep, beautiful twin booster landing!  And most importantly, the payload is on its way, a successful insertion!  This is a momentous day.  Congrats Space-X, this is awesome.

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Wonder Wednesday

September 20, 2017

These Tintin books were two of my favourite bandes dessinees growing up!

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SpaceX Amazement

August 31, 2017

Came across this picture today that adds some perspective on the SpaceX barge landings… and makes them even more impressive:

Via teslarati.com

That’s a 737.  SpaceX is vertically landing 737s on a barge in the middle of the rolling ocean with sub-metre precision.  Holy the cow!

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Wonder Wednesday

July 19, 2017

There are few times the expression “stopped in my tracks” has been a literal one for me.

This was one of those times.

I recently visited the space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Centre.  I had seen this shuttle before, as it flew overhead on its last voyage towards its science centre home.  But this was up close and personal.  As soon as I entered the doorway to the hanger in which it resides and looked up at the shuttle raised overhead, I was hit with grandeur and amazement.  I stood there for many minutes and just looked, taking it all in before I returned to myself and began an slow and deliberate tour around its entirety, from nose to tail and back.

 

Endeavour is magnificent.

Larger than you might think, until you are that close.  Still bearing the signs of her last reentry, score marks along the tiles here, darkening around the tail there.  Nearby are tires furrowed from their sudden re-encounter with terra firma.  Every bit a technological marvel.  That have been to space.  And back.  Again.  And again.

I’ve loved our space programs forever.  I can remember where I was when I learned about the Challenger explosion, can remember rushing in at home later that day to find whatever coverage I could find about it, remember where I was when I learned about Columbia’s breakup, listening with growing dread as I drove to Saturday practice.  I had a chance once to see a launch at the Cape – I didn’t work it out to do so.  I am kicking myself a bit now for not having done so…

But here she was, silent but present, firmly held by our planet’s grip yet still soaring in spirit, delivering wonder.

 

(Unfortunately, despite the scissor lift, we were not being offered a chance to go inside the orbiter… )

(Nifty to note that this is not Endeavour’s final position – there’s plans for a new exhibition building that will have her mounted vertically to the external tank and solid rocket boosters in launch configuration, with a gantry nearby allowing for several levels of viewing access.  This will have the three shuttles on display around the country being shown in all three of the orbiter’s modes:  Launch (here), Orbit (Kennedy Space Centre), and Landing (Smithsonian National Air & Space).

(I cannot help but laugh and love the following bill of lading transferring the shuttle to the science centre, also on display… especially the initial cost line!)