Monday, November 18, 2013

Titusville - 90 degree day

You can barely see the rocket in the upper, left of the photo
We're due for a weather change on Tuesday but today it reached 90 in the afternoon. I can't imagine what it's like in the summertime, obviously hotter than 90. The event of the day was a launch of an Atlas V rocket from the Kennedy Space Center. The Atlas V is a workhorse of the NASA launch system. Today was the launch of a probe to Mars to study the atmosphere there.

Here's a closeup - Mars, here we come!
It was a cloudy day but we did see the rocket climb above the clouds as it reached out into space towards Mars. The roar of the rocket was delayed almost 1/2 minute due to the distance to the space center but eventually it reached us, impressive.

Scattered around the area are osprey nests atop power line poles, we like them, they keep the dirty birds away!
The Atlas V is the latest edition of NASA's workhorse launch vehicle and you might expect it would contain the latest in American space technology! Much to my surprise, I discovered that the primary rocket engine is of Russian make! It's called the RD-180 engine, made in Russia.  So Russia is not only ferrying our astronauts to and from the space station, they are also selling us technology. And, not just any technology, but the latest and greatest for our own space launches, kinda of sad. What a comedown for NASA and the lack of investment by the US in space technology that we once led in. I'm sure the Russians and Chinese will take up the slack. Maybe we can get back to the moon or eventually to Mars aboard a Chinese rocket as a passenger...

Another day, another nice sunset
Otherwise, things were calm and we're looking forward to a cooler day on Tuesday. We're starting to pull things together for our Thursday departure date for points north. The problem is that we have very little in the way of heavy clothing, will have to make do.


Globalias Academy said...
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