Prayers for my friend are needed. Thank you. Post #24
A VISIT WITH THE SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY
This past Tuesday my husband and I visited the annex of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Virginia. The specific goal was to see the new member of the Museum, the Space Shuttle DISCOVERY.
The following information was copied and pasted from :
“Space Shuttle Overview: Discovery (OV-103)
Discovery (OV-103), the third of NASA's fleet of reusable, winged spaceships, arrived at Kennedy Space Center in November 1983. It was launched on its first mission, flight 41-D, on August 30, 1984. It carried aloft three communications satellites for deployment by its astronaut crew.
Other Discovery milestones include the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope on mission STS-31 in April 1990, the launching of the Ulysses spacecraft to explore the sun's polar regions on mission STS-41 in October of that year and the deployment of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) in September 1991.”
"Discovery (OV-103) was NASA's third space shuttle orbiter to join the fleet, arriving for the first time at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in November 1983.
After checkout and processing, it was launched on Aug. 30, 1984, for its first mission, 41-D, to deploy three communications satellites.
Since that inaugural flight, Discovery has completed more than 30 successful missions, surpassing the number of flights made by any other orbiter in NASA's fleet. Just like all of the orbiters, it has undergone some major modifications over the years. The most recent began in 2002 and was the first carried out at Kennedy. It provided 99 upgrades and 88 special tests, including new changes to make it safer for flight.
Discovery has the distinction of being chosen as the Return to Flight orbiter twice. The first was for STS-26 in 1988, and the second when it carried the STS-114 crew on NASA's Return to Flight mission to the International Space Station in July 2005.
The choice of the name "Discovery" carried on a tradition drawn from some historic, Earth-bound exploring ships of the past. One of these sailing forerunners was the vessel used in the early 1600s by Henry Hudson to explore Hudson Bay and search for a northwest passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Another such ship was used by British explorer James Cook in the 1770s during his voyages in the South Pacific, leading to the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. In addition, two British Royal Geographical Society ships have carried the name "Discovery" as they sailed on expeditions to the North Pole and the Antarctic.
Destined for exploring the heavens instead of the seas, it was only fitting that NASA's Discovery carried the Hubble Space Telescope into space during mission STS-31 in April 1990, and provided both the second and third Hubble servicing missions (STS-82 in February 1997 and STS-103 in December 1999).
During its many successful trips to space, Discovery has carried satellites aloft, ferried modules and crew to the International Space Station, and provided the setting for countless scientific experiments.”
Additional information from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Discov ery
“The spacecraft takes its name from four British ships of exploration named Discovery, primarily HMS Discovery, one of the ships commanded by Captain James Cook during his third and final major voyage from 1776 to 1779.
Henry Hudson's Discovery, which he used in 1610–1611 to search for a Northwest Passage. This ship had previously been used in the 1607 founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in what was to become the United States;
HMS Discovery, one of the ships which took Captain George Nares' British Arctic Expedition of 1875–1876 to the North Pole; and
RRS Discovery, a Royal Geographical Society research vessel which, under the command of Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, was the main ship of the 1901–1904 "Discovery Expedition" to Antarctica which is still preserved as a museum in Dundee, Scotland.”
I apologize that the photos I took and post here are not very good, but I am sharing anyways.
This last photo was taken from the front of the Museum looking out.
Both my husband and I felt a sense of awe when seeing the Discovery. We also felt pride for our Nation and her accomplishments in space exploration.
Someday our descendants will be able to get in a spaceship and travel to other planets, pretty much the way we get in a plane and visit any place in the World. For my husband and me, this is the closest we will ever get to ‘touching space’.
Everyone stands alone at the heart of the world pierced by a ray of sunlight, and suddenly it is evening. Salvatore Quasimodo
There is a world of violet light
Within our mind, within our heart
Where spirits take final flight
And sorrow can depart
(extracted from Artist of Life, by Sue Emery,
"With the first gleam of morning rays, the garden is a prism of a thousand hues refracted in tiny does of crystal dew, a dazzling quilt of millefleur colors covering the sleeping flower beds."
- Duane Michals, The Vanishing Act