Saturday, August 11, 2007

Space : The Final Frontier

Spent a large part of the day today at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Feel inspired to start looking into becoming an Astronaut soon :-)

NASA is aiming to get Humans back to the moon by 2020, and to Mars by 2030 - so they were indicating to the 5-10 years old kids that they could be the first humans to walk on Mars! The story of space exploration always fascinates me. I remember enjoying the visit to Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 1998. While this visit seemed to be similar, I guess I could appreciate it much better now probably because I am more aware about space exploration now than in 1998.

During one of the shows, the hostess explained to us what was currently happening on the Endeavour Space Shuttle (STS - 118) which was launched a few days back, and showed us live feeds from the Space Shuttle; fascinating to see Astronauts go about an operation to work on something outside the shuttle; the technical term being Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA).

No surprise in which post-card appealed to me most in the gift shop : the one with the crew of the Columbia Space Shuttle STS-107 which exploded in early 2003 and killed all seven astronauts including India-born Kalpana Chawla.

Of course, Houston visit was not all about Space Center; the main reason Houston got onto my itenerary was beacuse KP was visiting on official purpose for a few months. Stayed at his place and went around visiting places nearby. In addition to the Space Center, we got to see Sri Meenakshi Temple in Pearland, TX and swim in the muddy and dirty waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston Island. Was considering to take the free Galveston Island - Port Bolivar ferry, but had to avoid it as there was a minimum 45 minutes wait to get onto the ferry on either side. It would have been a nice experience to drive onto the ferry and cross the 2.7 mile long waterway by ferry and continue on road afterwards.

No comments: