So I work at a hotel in Orlando which has both it's bonuses as well as it more lack lusher qualities, I get a ton of international street passes, but I also have to drive outside of town to find a mall that isn't being ransacked by previously mentioned travelers. But sometimes I get invited to some crazy events , this weekend I got to do something amazing that will probably live with me forever, I finally got to meet Atlantis.
I should probably give a little back-story since for most seeing an orbiter would be cool it probably isn't as moving as it was for me. I have always considered myself a space geek, since I was old enough to understand how a telescope worked I was outside at night attempting to see planets and stars. And once I realized that people where still going up into space I was hooked, I follow the shuttles and learned all I could about the missions and experiments that were done while in orbit.
So fast forward 16 years later my boyfriend and I are driving across NASA parkway and I start to see the Vehicle Assembly Building and then the lightning rods for Launch Pad 39A & 39B start to show over the tops of trees and I feel like that 12 year old girl again but it doesn't truly hit me until we are waiting to see Atlantis. The whole exhibit was built from the ground up to showcase this feat of engineering genius that went into space 33 times, one was which was to repair the dying Hubble Telescope after the world cried out and started campaigning for it rescue and repair (If you don't know about it look up STS-125). I don't want to ruin the experience for anyone who may read this and check it out but I will tell you that walking out onto the walkway where Atlantis is displayed like she is flouting in space with payload bay door open it was breathe taking. For someone who spent so much of her life reading about shuttles but never having the chance to be this close the first time seeing it brought tears to my eyes, after which I started to run around like a little kid taking as many pictures as I could.
Now for a little soap box time, if you feel like NASA is horribly underfunded and you would like to see further generations reach for the stars and hopefully be able to explore world beyond ours then email your congress person and tell them you support increasing funding for this greatly needed but truly neglected program. I have included links to two of my favorite videos by Neil deGrasse Tyson who if you don't know him he is an amazing astrophysicist who may or may not be responsible for the reclassification of Pluto. But I hope if nothing else you watch those videos and they show you how quickly we have stopped dreaming. Also Neil deGrasse Tyson will be hosting the Fox reboot of The Cosmos which if you haven't seen the trailer it's linked too.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbIZU8cQWXc Part One
www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFO2usVjfQc Part Two
www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBTd9--9VMI Cosmos Trailer