Saturday, December 09, 2006

Space Watch

I am and always will be a space geek. When I was 8 years old I would sit in my bed at night and gawk at the pictures in Cosmos by Carl Sagan. When the Cassini Probe entered Titan a few years ago I was like a little kid at Christmas waiting to see the images from that enigmatic moon around Saturn. You can imagine how excited I was when I found out my bro-in-law got a job working for NASA.

He started working for them a few years back and through hard work and favorable circumstances he is already in a position that people have to work twice as long to get. He is an engineer and one of those guys that tells the Astronauts how to work that big arm that is on the Space Shuttle. It is a pretty stinking cool Job if you ask me. For me, NASA is still one of the only things about our country that reminds us to dream and keep dreaming.

My bro-in-law is also one of those lucky few who love their Job. He loves it and does it well. He does is so darn well that one of the Astronauts approached him the other day and told him that they appreciated him. They appreciated his hard work so much that they wanted to take something that he owns into space for him. Pretty stinking cool.

For his choice he is picked his Grandfather's watch, a family heirloom. So tonight, on into space that watch went.

Well done my friend.


kat said...

That's very cool!

When I worked at KSBJ artists would often stop by and someone from the station would give the a tour, so it wasn't unusual for the singer whose music I was listening to on my computer to stop by my office and say hello. I was never starstruck. I mean I enjoyed their music, but I didn't treat meeting them any different from the listeners who would stop the station for a tour.

But one day, our promotions director popped his head into my office and said he has a visitor he'd like me to meet. Unfortunately, I was so in awe that I don't remember his name, but when Jason (the promotions guy) said this man was an astronaut I just got giddy. I thought it was SOOO cool to meet a real astronaut. He'd been on several missions and was actually about to go on one. He agreed to take several albums from artists that we had coming in concert that year. When they came to do their show, we presented them with the copy of their cd in a plaque that said how many miles it had traveled. It was really, really cool.

Anyway, there's my really long story about once meeting an astronaut.

I'll bet you're going to want to check out your bro in law's watch when it gets back...

Seth Ward said...

What a cool story! Yeah, I am just a sucker for space stuff and being an astronaut will always be the thing that I want to be when I grow up.

The only thing that I hate about living in the city is that I can't see the stars.

Anonymous said...

Did you see this?

Chaotic Hammer said...

I was pretty certain when I was in elementary school and junior high that I was going to be an astronomer when I grew up. I excelled in science, and was absolutely fascinated with the universe. My parents knew that, and always encouraged me to pursue astronomy, because they could see how much it excited me.

But somewhere along the way, I wandered off the pathway leading to that. I watched the entire Cosmos series on PBS during it's original run -- while taking huge hits from my best friend's bong.

But even though I became more of a space cadet than an actual space scientist, I've never lost my love and fascination for such things. Ditto on Cosmos (got it for Christmas one year), ditto on Cassini-Huygens, etc.

Seth is just way cool. :-)

Oh, and per your earlier request that I inform you, Seth -- I have posted a new blog entry.

euphrony said...

Cool stuff.

I've been at NASA here in Houston a couple of times, taken behind the scenes tours, seen the massive banks of computers they use to run IMAX-size screen simulations (Kat, you mave officially drool over this), and even had the chace to simulate a controlled docking of the shuttle to the ISS from the perspective of the shuttle pilot. When John Glen went back to space a few years ago, I was there for a press conference and got a autographed picture of the flight crew. But I don't have anything that has traveled in space. I'm jealous.

Seth Ward said...

I actually found out that he changed his mind at the last minute and is having my sister's wedding bands taken into space. WAAAAY better in my opinion.

Brody, Yes I saw that article and heard that it was coming. Too bad I live in one of the WORST places for good star-gazing. Houston. The pollution can give you some nice sunsets but bad for clear gazing.

When I lived in Waco there was a time that Jupiter and Saturn were a thumbprint away from eachother in the night sky. I had a pretty nice telescope at the time and could, off my balcony, get a pretty good view of the rings of Saturn, and the Red Spot of Jupiter and most of their moons. The best night sky that I have seen was actually in Aspen Colorado.

C-Hammer, The cosmos series is a classic. Have you seen the "Elegant Universe" Series on PBS? AWESOME. you can still download all the clips for free I think. My favorite Space Documentaries have been the ones on Venus and there was this Series just called "The Planets" It was pretty amazing.

Euphrony, pretty cool stuff. I was pretty suprised to know that NASA uses some pretty anitquated computers and operating software. The worst computer in your house is better than the average computer used by the guys at NASA. They only use stuff that is tried and true and that usually means things that are 4-5 years old. When the shuttle is phased-out they are due for a HUGE overhaul.