Wednesday, October 28, 2009

...finally got it up.

Love that title.  Love it.

With the kids off to school, the news came again.  And boy was I excited.  It's the kind of thing I like to watch.  Doesn't matter the time of day.  And I can watch the same thing over and over and over and still get turned on.

Okay, enough with the running double entendre (you fucking pervs).  I'm talking about the launch of the Ares I-X rocket today.  This is the first test of the next-generation rocket system which will replace the near-retirement Space Shuttle fleet (after several years of impotence (had to fit that one in (because I, too am a fucking perv))).  The Constellation program (of which the Ares is a part) is a combo of Shuttle ans Apollo program technology.  It didn't explode.  And it was beautiful.

Now I've gone on on the value and importance to the country that the space program is over on SPD, so I'm going to let that subject lie.

(Total  sidebar:  I remember writing the line above from a damned dream.  I have these flashes of deja-vu/snippets of the future every so often, and I figure they'll pay off in the end because I'll be able to save my ass by seeing the future.  If this sounds fucked up, consider the source.)

But seeing it happen from the beginning (I can vaguely remember Columbia launching), as well as major triumphs/tragedies (the Challenger disaster is seared into my brain) is always an improvement to trying to recapture history after the fact (my movies include The Right Stuff, the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, and Apollo 13).  So here's what I saw today (yay for CNN's video selection):

On watching this unmanned test flight (about 6 minutes including descent) with my kids, as well as numerous replays (NASA TV makes C-SPAN look exciting, but they do give you replays of every camera angle), it reminded me of another short (15 minute) flight on April 15, 1961, which I have seen mostly in two of the movies listed above.  In one of them (The Right Stuff), our first astronaut, Alan B Shepherd, pisses himself, then gets shot into suborbital history.  Here's the other version:

When they're older, I'm taking the kids down there for one....

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