Friday, December 07, 2007
We were going to drive North yesterday and watch the shuttle launch. We debated back and forth whether or not to go, when Yaakov said, "You know, it's always been a dream of mine to watch a launch." How could I argue with that? So we got all ready to go, and then...the launch was scrubbed. Thank G-d they scrubbed in the morning, before we got on the road. I was nervous we'd get all the way there and they'd scrub closer to launch time - or worse - during the countdown. If it was just Yaakov and I, that would be okay. But to schlep the kids all that way...
We went to a park with the kids instead, and had a great time. There was even a little science museum on site, with a model of the shuttle Endeavor. So we did manage get a little NASA in our day!
And speaking of shuttles, does anybody remember the Russian program? They had a beautiful bird named "Buran." It only went up once, in an un-manned test flight, orbiting the Earth twice. I know you're all dying to know, what happened to the mighty Buran? My internet travels have offered some possibilities. One report is that it's sitting at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, forlorn and alone. Another is that it's in Gorky park, re-modeled as a ride. The third is that it actually got destroyed in a hangar collapse. There were actually two other Russian shuttles in design, so maybe any/all of the aforesaid involves the other vehicles.
Anyway, here's a clip of the Buran Launch. Notice the fuel emissions, how they stream from the orbiter so nicely. The Russians had a different fuel source than the American shuttle, so the there's a noticeable difference at lift-off.