Sunday, April 13, 2014

Home on the Range

I've been in Washington, D.C. for the last week on vacation, so I have some catching up to do in the next few days.

Tomorrow (Monday, April 14) appears to be the day that NASA and SpaceX announce the lease for Pad 39A. According to the press release, media will be escorted to Pad 39A for the event, whatever it is. Seems to me there's no reason to go out there unless SpaceX intends to reveal their plans.

After that is the SpaceX launch of Dragon to the International Space Station, which was almost delayed due to a hardware problem with a backup device on the station's robotic arm. Launch time tomorrow is 4:58 PM EDT.

Last week saw several NASA-related hearings in Washington, some of which were quite contentious. I was in town, but I doubt my wife would have tolerated my sitting in a hearing for three hours booing members of Congress. Anyway, I'll get the hearing videos on YouTube in the next few days.

I visited both the National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall and its Udvar-Hazy Center annex in Chantilly, Virginia. I'll post photos as time permits. It was interesting to see how the Smithsonian displays the orbiter Discovery compared to the Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Discovery is treated as just one of many aviation-related artifacts, in one gallery with many other items from spaceflight. At KSCVC, Atlantis is the star of the show.

But first things first. The next new episode of Cosmos airs tonight at 9 PM EDT.

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