Saturday, June 28, 2014

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

(With apologies to Douglas Adams)

I have decided after some consideration to end this blog, which was started in November 2010. Since that time, I've seen the end of the shuttle program, a few unmanned launches, and the beginning of the future (the Commercial Resupply Program, and then some). The journey has been beyond amazing and exciting, and I've met many friends for life.

This blog sort of began as me joking around about many figures in human spaceflight history, and over the years began to take on a life of its own. In 2011, I started a group on Facebook called Space Hipsters, which has increasingly taken up a lot of my time (we began with one moderator and four members; we now have four moderators and over 2,100 members). In 2013, I began writing for AmericaSpace, where I am to this day. I'm very proud of the team we have at AS, and we continue to grow each day. (You all know who you are, and you know I love you!)

Between several blogs, groups, and writing commitments, the scope of my interest in spaceflight is bigger than ever, but to some degree has changed. I'm more interested in going deeper, and dedicating my time to specific topics. I'll occasionally throw in some funny captions, but with time (and maturity, THANK GOD) things are different. For example, Space Hipsters started with me doing dumb captions to NASA public domain photos (basically, that's what it was!). Now, it has become a diverse and vibrant community where people share current space news, and stories from the past (and future). This is not due at all to me, this is due to the moderators and members - they have made the community what it is. And I'd like to thank everyone for their wonderful contributions.

I do have a few other things up my sleeve that I'm excited about starting, and you all will see it. But at this time, I'm saying goodbye to this blog, and I'm no longer updating it. (No worries, previous posts will still be up, the domain isn't going anywhere.) This may be "goodbye," but I'm not going anywhere

xoxo, Emily

Ad Astra, Bitches

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Made Even Better With Badass Cosmonauts

The Russian National Anthem, presented Friday, February 7, at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies. At about 1:45, cosmonauts Sergei Krikalev, Yelena Serova, Svetlana Savitskaya, Fyodor Yurchikhin, and Roman Romanenko step in to raise the Russian flag. Video originally presented by NBC - found via this link on YouTube. 

So, many space watchers were pretty thrilled to see some of Russia's best and most badass presenting the Russian and Olympic flags during Friday's opening ceremonies. The cosmonauts present included important figures from the Vostok, Salyut, Mir, and International Space Station eras. Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman ever in space, made an appearance to hoist the Olympic flag. 

For those interested in the activities of our cosmonaut friends, Russia's pride in their space program during the opening ceremonies was lovely and refreshing to see. 

Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space on 1963's Vostok 6, carries in the Olympic flag. She is at the bottom, far right. Photo Credit:  RIA Novosti, found on the Voice of Russia website.

Guess Who's Back

Deke Slayton, Bob Crippen, and John Young pose with STYLE at Third Century America, Kennedy Space Center, in 1976. NASA photo. 

Now that I have some free time, I can finally update this blog. 

So yeah... I've been absent for quite some time. I've come back to update this space...I'm hoping to have some interesting space experiences in 2014, so we'll see. Coming up soon, we can expect the SpaceX CRS-3 launch (March 16). I'm hoping to make it there in some capacity that weekend; there is nothing like seeing a launch, and I haven't seen one since 2012.
So welcome back, and I hope to bring you some content (photos, experiences, rants, meanderings, and the stupid stuff people have come to know from me) very soon. Stay tuned, and let's make 2014 a great year!

-Emily C. <3  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Greatest Music Video Ever? Col. Chris Hadfield Does "Space Oddity" in SPACE

From our friends at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), here's the country's finest doing an ah-maz-ing cover of the David Bowie chestnut. This has been posted a million times everywhere, but I'm going to post it again. 

By the way, Col. Hadfield will be back on terra firma tomorrow. This caps off an awesome mission for Hadfield; a couple of days back, he and his crew saved the day, fixing an ammonia leak on the ISS. I'll really miss his ever-awesome updates from space, but it will be great to see him and Exp. 35 back. 

In another CSA video, Col. Hadfield reflects upon his time on the ISS. The music sounds better with you, sir!

Jack Swigert of the Week: BB JACK SWIGERT

Jack Swigert, 1951. BEFORE THA LADIES!!!!! Look at that baby face. 

Jack plays football at the University of Colorado, 1952-ish. Fun fact: Jack's nickname there was "Big Swig."

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Missions We're Glad Didn't Happen: Grissom, Borman and Aldrin Fly Apollo 11, 1969

A proposed mission patch. (This was originally album art by Smog; if you sue me, I'll take it down.) I'm no artist. 

So here's some alternate NASA history, had Deke Slayton won the lottery, left NASA temporarily, and crowned Wally Schirra as the man in charge of mission selections. Wally, of course, was known to have a bit of fun and would have stuck Gus Grissom, Frank Borman and Buzz Aldrin together. On a lunar mission. In the same capsule and lunar module. For days. God help us all. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Unsung Jewels of the Space Race in Cape Canaveral and Titusville

If you're lucky enough to visit Florida's Space Coast, there are a few unsung places that will provide excitement to dedicated space enthusiasts who love all things related to spaceflight history. 

This past weekend, I visited the Air Force Space and Missile History Center, located before one enters the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. For those interested in the early days of spaceflight and programs such as the Dyna-Soar space plane and the Manned Orbiting Laboratory, this place is a must-see. The history center is well laid-out and each exhibit shows the pads which helped to usher in the Space Race, beginning in 1950. If you book a tour, you will be fortunate to see some of the launchpads, many of which are inactive, save for Complex 40 (the SpaceX launch site), Complex 41 (known for launching Atlas rockets, such as Juno's Atlas 551) and Complex 37B (the Delta launch site). 

Last two photos: a Gemini launch console and a Titan IIIC model. The Titan IIIC was supposed to launch the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) into space; however, the program was cancelled in 1969. Many of its astronauts were absorbed into NASA and flew on the space shuttle. Photos by me, 3/23/13. 

Tours must be scheduled in advance and they book quickly; however, a visit to the history center is free and much recommended. (The history center also has a great gift shop and some rare patches, for all the patch collectors out there.) For more information on how to schedule a tour and visiting hours, check out the Air Force Space and Missile Museum's website at

If you're in Titusville, the U.S. Space Walk of Fame Park and Museum are also two must-see locales. The museum is located on Main Street and is a jewel, housing many rare artifacts from the early manned U.S. space program (and some items from the Soviet space program). Photos don't really do this place justice, as around every corner, there is something awesome. 

Photos taken by me, February 2011. 

While Kennedy Space Center is a great tourist destination and does have wonderful gems, don't miss these tucked-away places which, too, will capture a rocket-chaser's imagination. In addition, many former Cape workers – and perhaps an MOL astro-spy – are known to hang out at these places. They love to talk space, and you will treasure those conversations forever. 

Feel free to leave recommendations for space road trips in the comments – for those on the U.S. West Coast, feel free to let the readers know about must-see places on that side of the country!