Emily and I had the amazing opportunity last week to meet Charlie Duke, Apollo 16 astronaut at the Kansas Cosmosphere. Charlie describes the experience of viewing the entire Earth at 16,000 miles from space.
I am writing this from the fair city of Hutchinson Kansas. Progressive leadership in the community is responsible for organizing a tour for travel bloggers to visit and write about the exciting things that are going on here.
I was late to the party tonight because of class obligations, so I didn’t get to meet everyone yet, but I’m told there are bloggers here from Oklahoma, Illinois, California as well as Kansas.
I did make it in time to see a special screening of the IMAX film, Magnificent Desolation. Amazing film, and I kept thinking how much my daughter Science Girl Em would have liked this show. The film included shots of the Cosmosphere’s lunar lander & lunar rover. (Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to make some photos of those.)
The Kansas Cosmosphere at night. Not just every window you look into has both a space shuttle and an SR-71 Blackbird visible.
In the IMAX projection room. Large format 65mm film being loaded
The IMAX sound system has a digital sound track stored on a computer hard disk, and a backup sound track on a magnetic system stored on 35mm film.
The SR-71 Blackbird is on permanent loan from the US Air Force.
A full-size replica of the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
The short time I have been here, I’ve been made to feel most welcome and the group of bloggers is a spirited bunch. I’m really looking forward to see what tomorrow has in store for us.
Exactly 40 years ago today, the crew of the Apollo 8 mission wished the people of Earth a Merry Christmas as they orbited around the moon. It was the first time human beings had viewed planet Earth from such a great distance. It must have been an awesome sight. This video is a recording of what the Apollo 8 astronauts said:
You can also read a written transcript on Wikipedia if you prefer.
Merry Christmas everyone!
*** Edit- Added amazing Hubble image ***
I have been thinking more about this. I found this amazing image from the Hubble space telescope some time ago, and thought I would share it here today.
You really need to take a look at the high resolution file to appreciate its beauty. (Caution: It is large- 4Mb) This is from a dimly lit area of the sky where the Hubble collected light from galaxies so far away, the light we can see originated 13 billion years ago in the early days of the universe. Back then, galaxies were grouped much closer together than they are now. Indeed, in the beginning, there was light.