Confused malcontents swilling Chardonnay while awaiting the Zombie Apocalypse.
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Di (amina046) said:
A comet called Atlas is currently heading toward the sun, and it just might put on a really good show in a couple of months. Discovered last December by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert system in Hawaii (thus the name ATLAS for the comet), the comet has been growing much brighter than experts had predicted. If it manages to hold its shape as it moves nearer to the sun, it could grow...
Comet's trajectory in the sky with 7-day markers. Credit: Tomruen/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons
MARCH 23, 2020 - A comet called Atlas is currently heading toward the sun, and it just might put on a really good show in a couple of months. Discovered last December by the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert system in Hawaii (thus the name C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) for the comet), the comet has been growing much brighter than experts had predicted. If it manages to hold its shape as it moves nearer to the sun, it could grow brighter than Venus.
I wanted to fly, I wanted to be an astronaut, even now, reading your post, I feel a deep down, gut sadness that I did not. I was raised around jets, from our back yard could hear those engines roaring as they were being tested. Our little farm was under direct flight path from the air force base where dad was a jet mechanic and he would identify each plane as it flew overhead. Many years later, I was privileged to be part of the team that manufactured the SSME (Space Shuttle Main Engines). My husband, our son and I were all involved in the space program in different capacities.
Sorry again for TMI - one of your esteemed contributors would jeer at my "earth shattering news", but I would go now if I could.
That sounds fantastic!
Were you there for any of the launches?
Unfortunately, no. However, my office was just down the hall from the VP of Manufacturing, and we used to watch the launches (and control room) in real time in his conference room. We had an entirely different view than what was shown on TV. There was a real feeling of pride watching our engines lift those shuttles. Our hearts were in our throats every time until the boosters were jettisoned though. Those boosters were basically giant bombs and every person in that shuttle was in enormous danger until they fell away - remember Challenger?
I do. Were you there watching on that day?
And I'm sure there was one since.
Yes, I was in that conference room that day. We were all so proud, so excited because Christa McAuliffe, an american teacher, not an astronaut was going into space on our engines. We saw it happen, and didn't believe what we saw. It took a minute or two to sink in, even looking back and forth between the sky and mission control. So afraid our engines caused the explosion. Disbelief, horror, shock. Complete silence, then the crying started. Men with tears running down their faces, women sobbing quietly. We were told we could go home if we wanted to, but I believe everyone stayed in that room until quitting time. It was not a good day.
Yes, Columbia disintegrated during flight in 2003, again killing all onboard, this time caused by a piece of foam debris that broke off a wing's leading edge, striking a plate on the shuttle with enough force to create a large hole, ultimately leading to destabilization and disintegration at re-entry.
We had moved to Nevada by that time, so I was thankfully no longer part of the team, so although very saddened, did not experience the trauma of watching them die first-hand.
Yes, I would still go. Even at my age I sometimes wonder if my old team ever hires part-time workers. I do belong to a facebook group for the team that built the SSMEs and get my "fix" that way. SSME = Space Shuttle Main Engine
Jenifer (Zarknorph) said:
US space agency NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX have picked May 27 for resuming astronaut launches from the United States.
Assumes that all the myriad of sub-suppliers are up and running smoothly by then.