Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kennedy Space Center, Scrubbed Launch

Today I went to the Kennedy Space Center to see an Atlas V rocket launch the Solar Dynamics Observatory. This satellite will transmit 1.5 Terabytes of data per day for 5 years. No wonder they delayed it for 2 years. They had to wait for the price of hard drives to come down.

Of course they scrubbed the launch at the last minute. I'll go back tomorrow and hopefully see it. Now I know what to expect.
Here's the view of the rocket on the launch pad from the Apollo/Saturn exhibit at KSC. See it between the trees? Yeah, it's 3 miles away and pretty small. Look at that CNN link up there for a picture of what it looks like up close.

Here it is zoomed in with my camera. It's that thing in the middle of the four towers.

Looking at it through Jeff's camera it looks bigger, but not a lot clearer. It's hard to get a picture of something from that far away. The heat radiating off the ground makes it all shimmer.

After we waited around for an hour and a half they called it off for wind. It was a pretty day, just too windy from the wrong direction apparently.

Our observation location was in front of a big building where they have a Saturn rocket on its side.

Of course they also have a gift shop. This is where I found some rant-worthy items. Take these liquid filled toy balls. More than 3 ounces. I guarantee you can't take these in your carry on luggage on an airplane, yet they have them for sale in the NASA gift shop.

This Snoopy with his head shoved in a lucite fishbowl disturbs me a great deal. I just can't stop thinking of some worker in a Chinese factory whose whole job it is to cram Snoopy's head into a bubble all day every day. I mean, it's tight on there! I can barely get my finger between the lip of the bowl and his neck! There's no power pack or air input in this toy. He's not even wearing a space suit. He's got on his red scarf. It makes no sense. Having seen videos of stray dogs with their heads stuck in mayonnaise jars it really creeps me out. How does that factory worker explain her job to her mother when she goes home? "I push a stuffed animal's head into a tight, clear bowl."
"American children are too good for goldfish?"
What if it's the same person that assembled those 6 teated cow vacuum cleaners? How can they not think Americans are ignorant of animals AND cruel? The bowl in not round either, it's oblong like Snoopy's head, so if you turn it sideways his nose goes all deformed. It's horrific. I hope that poor woman in China doesn't have nightmares.

More from Kennedy Space Center tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Successful launch this afternoon. Looking forward to your commentary and pictures.