We spent hours on the Earth Observing stuff, and a few Mars testing things in the same area. So we really had to rush through the other areas.
The link to the LaunchFest is here. There was just too much stuff to see. But Emily and her friend were very happy to see what they did see.
There were off-site parking areas with buses. And buses to circulate people from building to building. But the circulation buses turned into a major disaster and sometimes went on different routes than they were supposed to. There was a prize for going to all the buildings, but they decided to make it 4 out of 6 in the end. T really wanted to go to the spacecraft fabrication/machine shop building, but there was no time.
We were there with three visitors from Italy, who spoke, umm, no English (a little English--like first year in school). The two adults who spoke both English and Italian spent a lot of time translating. One of the visitors from Italy was fascinated with spacesuit fabrics and there was a long back-and-forth through the translator about it.
Oh, and the kids got their names written in Braille.
We found: The Big Dipper, the North Star. much of the Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, the Dragon, the Swan and T is pretty certain that he found Hercules, and maybe the Scorpion (Scorpius). We also identified Vega and Deneb in the individual stars category (and the North Star).
Emily loved it and wanted (somewhat) to sleep out there, cuddled on her mom's or dad's chest. T was pretty afraid of the mosquitoes. They were still biting.
The NASA exhibit was pretty fun, especially for Emily. There was a children's book with 6 activities. If a child did 4 of them (or the parents helped), the child could get a pin.
We also saw the Bhutan exhibit. We enjoyed the Bhutan food.
We didn't get over to the Texas exhibit.
The professor in charge was giving a talk about star formation. He didn't really use the star projection system for very much, just "this slide is detail of something in Orion, which is up here". But he turned on and off the lights to good effect.
About 40 people can sit in there and still leave space for evacuation if need be. But I think we'd have to leave in a certain order, because not a lot of room was left.
He showed computer slides through an overhead projector.
Of the 40 people, about 10 were under 10. So the spirit of space exploration is alive and well in the younger generation. Emily wasn't even the youngest; there were two younger girls, about two and four years old. The professor did give a very short blurb for studying science and going into it as a career.
Afterwards, he set up both of his telescopes. The smaller one was on Saturn, and Emily and T enjoyed looking at it. But then Emily was done (and the two smaller girls were long into the their carseats and out of there).
The eclipse will begin when the moon enters the faint outer portion, or penumbra of the Earth's shadow. The penumbra, however, is all but invisible to the eye until the moon becomes deeply immersed in it. Sharp-eyed viewers may get their first glimpse of the penumbra as a delicate shading on the left part of the moon's disk about 20 minutes before the start of the partial eclipse (when the round edge of the central shadow or umbra, first touches the moon's left edge). During the partial eclipse, the penumbra should be readily visible as a dusky border to the dark umbral shadow.
The moon will enter Earth's much darker umbral shadow at 1:43 on Feb. 21 by Greenwich or Universal time, which is 8:43 p.m. on Feb. 20 in the Eastern time zone, 7:43 p.m. Central time, 6:43 p.m. Mountain time and 5:43 p.m. Pacific time.
Seventy-eight minutes later the moon is entirely within the shadow, and sails on within it for 51 minutes (about average for a total lunar eclipse), until it begins to find its way out at the lower left (southeastern) edge.
The moon be completely free of the umbra by 9:09 p.m. Pacific time or 12:09 a.m. (Feb. 21) Eastern time.
But there is also a snow storm predicted for Wednesday night. So that is likely to lead to clouds and we probably won't be able to see anything.
It's kind of non-news, since the US didn't sign up. Although, getting Russia on board is a major stroke of diplomacy.
They edited the story I was interested in. It's at the bottom of this article.
Here is the one I thought interesting.
Basically, it's still true that English and Russian are the languages of space. And Emily speaks one out of two.
And local news, but I can't find the story. Maryland surpassed New Jersey as the richest (read most expensive) state in the US.
Space camp was probably good for Emily. The first week, they didn't challenge her knowledge of space and spacey themes. The second week, they definitely ramped up. Perhaps because they knew her from the first week, perhaps because Endeavour was launched this week. They spoke about dehydration, which is a big risk in weightlessness, because your body doesn't signal thirst. They spoke about asteroids and meteorites and the difference. Emily liked the sports, and coloring, and made a good friend in a boy named Ben. Today's play date was supposed to be with him. The two of them also played a lot of games involving ghosts at camp.
Emily knows a lot more vocabulary than I would expect from a girl of her tender years. She was playing a game on PBSkids.org that made that surprisingly obvious. "Silhouette" was one word that surprised me.
I don't know if I need to worry about whether she is gifted. The public schools here do definitely have offerings for G&T kids, both pull-out and special dedicated schools. I would definitely prefer that she not have to go to the special dedicated schools, though.
Tim has a headache from lack of caffeine. This is his usual weekend ailment.
Launch: Aug. 8, 2007 6:36 pm EDT
Members of the crew:
Commander Scott J. Kelly
Pilot Charles O. Hobaugh
Richard A. Mastracchio
Barbara R. Morgan
Tracy E. Caldwell, PhD
Benjamin Alvin Drew
Dr. Dafydd Williams (of the Canadian Space Agency)
Docking with ISS:
Aug. 10, 2007 (Flight day 3)
Delivery of Truss
Aug. 11, 2007 with spacewalk. (Flight day 4)
Educational Activities with video recording:
Aug. 12, 2007 (Flight day 5)--Basil seed project.
More Educational activities: Aug. 14th, 2007 (Flight day 7) ==downlink with Idaho students.
Crew News conference Aug. 15th and 16th, 2007 (Flight days 8 and 9)
Decision of 11-day mission or 14-day mission made around then.
On longer mission Educational Event Aug. 16th, 2007 (Flight day 9)--downlink with Virginia students.
Educational Event Aug. 19th, 2007 (Flight day 12)==downlink with Massachusetts students.
Emily now has a plan that if there is a problem on her shuttle, she'll just take her Soyuz to the moon. She's going to pick up moon rocks for her kids and husband, but for her parents, she'll only have dust to give us. She also was incorporating the situation on Apollo 13 into her imaginary play. She has decided that a fire must be put out with magic, since water would damage the controls.
Sunday, we had a quiet day. I got a fair amount of gardening done and Tim added sand to Emily's sandbox, so she played in the new sand. I planted corn and beans together so the beans can climb up the corn stalks.
By the way, Northrop Grumman is totally not spelled the way that it sounds!!
So did that influence the placement of Disney World in Orlando, just 45 miles from Cape Canaveral? A nice family vacation can include both easily.
Speaking of family vacations, May 11-13 is the 400th anniversary of the landing at Jamestown. It would be nice to check that out, but I don't think we can (since Tim will be in Valley Forge, PA on the 11th). But Jamestown will have exhibits all year, especially for the anniversary.
The one in Washington DC is at the Russian Cultural Center, either in or very close to the Embassy on Phelps Place.
We aren't going this year, but maybe we'll keep it in mind for some other year.
Of course, the last time I was at the Russian Embassy was very sad. I was signing the condolences book after Beslan. ( link) WARNING: story behind link is very sad, especially if you have children.