Friday, February 25, 2011

Space Shuttle Launch PLUS Australian Agates

I have always been a NASA fan. I remember sleeping out in the back yard at night to glimpse peeks at what ever NASA was kind enough to orbit over Michigan. Yesterday I took a few minutes from my construction task of painting my art studio to watch the launch. This was the 133rd launch in the space shuttle era. The space shuttle was the first reusable space craft in history. The first launch was on April 12, 1981. There have been five craft including Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor. Yesterday the Discovery took off for her 39th time. The first was in 1984. By the end of this 11-day mission, she would have flown 143 million miles, spent 363 days in space, and orbited the earth 5,800 times. The total distance flown would be equivalent to going to the moon and back 300 times!

There have been shuttle launches every year since 1981, except for 1987 and 2004 after the two shuttle accidents. The most launches took place in 1985 (9), but there were at least six launches in ten different years.

Here are some pictures I took off my TV screen. I am hoping one day to see a launch in person, but at least the TV pictures were outstanding.

One of my Australian contacts, John Nedwich, recently sent me these photos of what he calls Potato Patch agates from Queensland.

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