Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Lift Off! Round 2

Tickets go on sale tomorrow for the STS 115 Atlantis Shuttle launch. The lift off window is August 28 - Sept. 13 and I'm hoping I'll get to see this one. This will be the shuttle's 19th mission to the International Space Station. Some of the astronauts have been training about a decade for a chance to walk or float in space.

When I had lunch with Colonel John Blaha (at the Kennedy Space Center), he talked of his days on the space station. Specifically, I recall him describing the "smell of Earth" when a new rocket or space shuttle would dock and unload with fresh supplies. I asked if he ever got jet-lagged while in space (yes, I was serious). He was stunned at my answer, "no, not if you're properly trained, there's no jet-lag," was his response.

Want to experience weightlessness in space? By the end of the decade, Virgin Galactic, led by Sir Richard Branson and others, will be transporting travelers into orbit. Amazing.

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