Monday, October 29, 2012

Astronaut Hysteria, Coming To You From KSC This Weekend

The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's 2012 Astronaut Autograph Show will take place from Thursday, Nov. 1, to Saturday, Nov. 3. 

I will be going after the Atlantis relocation, which takes place Friday, Nov. 2, on Saturday. Woot! Lots of astros will be there, including Joe Kerwin (I hope he doesn't punch me for referring to him as "Squishy" online) and JIM MCDIVITT. Yes, one half of Gemini 4 will be there, among many, many others...including moonwalkers. Do you die? I hope to stay alive long enough to get some photos. 

So, expect some hysteria and screams enthusiasm on my end, coming from the Kennedy Space Center region. 

Also, for those readers up north, please stay safe during Hurricane Sandy. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Did You Miss Felix Baumgartner's Space Jump? Don't Fret, Here Are Highlights

Felix Baumgartner jumps, Oct. 14, 2012. Image by spaceplasma on Tumblr...I own nothing.

For some reason Blogger is being crabby about embedding video again, so here's a link to the Red Bull Stratos space jump highlight video. It is 100 percent badass. 

For those who may not know what happened:

Earlier this afternoon, Felix Baumgartner jumped from an altitude of over 128,000 feet (that's approximately 24 miles) from the edge of space. More photos and highlights are at the Red Bull Stratos website. He fell to Earth, breaking the sound barrier (at Mach 1.24), making the highest ever free fall. I'm sure more photos and videos will follow, but the view was completely mind-blowing.

With the SpaceX launch/docking and this, it has been a pretty awesome week in aeronautics and space.

UPDATE: Click on this link to see the entire video of the jump!

...And click on this one for the post-jump press conference!

Watch Felix Baumgartner Attempt to Jump From Space

Click on this link to see Felix Baumgartner attempt to jump from space this morning.

Godspeed, Felix!

UPDATE: HE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Let's Talk About Al Worden's Book, Falling to Earth

Al Worden engages in some awesomely WTF behavior circa 1967. Photos from Falling to Earth's page on Facebook. Yes, he is drinking a beer. 

So yeah, if you haven't read this book yet, you probably need to do it, now. I've had it for a while and have probably reread it about three times.

This book gets This Space Available's endorsement. Falling to Earth is pretty hilarious (these photos of Al's "gotcha" aren't in the book, but the story surrounding them is) and breathtakingly heartbreaking. Col. Worden tells readers what really happened surrounding the Apollo 15 stamp situation and it is infuriating. One has to give kudos to Worden for maintaining his class and dignity about the whole thing (I wouldn't have). One wishes this book had been published 30 years back, so he would have had the opportunity to get his story out sooner. It's a candid, blunt tale. 

It does have a happy ending. He gets back in NASA's good graces and goes on to continue being an ambassador of the space program. But, there's lots of hilarity. Some pointers: look for the stories about the Bad Boys of Apollo and, of course, the legendary prank pictured here. I wish the alternate title had been Only My Mama Can Call Me Sonny, but that's a story for another time (it's also explained in the book). 

"LOL, welcome to your wonderfully remodeled hotel room. Hope you like it. Bitches."

Worden previously had written Hello Earth – Greetings from Endeavour, a book of poetry, following his return to Earth in the 1970s. I haven't gotten my mitts on it yet, but it looks pretty cool and a bit brave for an astronaut to tackle (I haven't seen other astronauts do coffeehouse-style slam poetry...that is edgy for the 1970s). 

Have you read Falling to Earth? If so, leave your thoughts in the comments section. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Watch Red Bull Stratos Space Jump Live

Watch Felix Baumgartner free fall jump live from the edge of space (over 120,000 feet in altitude) this morning. Click on the video for current updates. 

The only man to achieve a similar feat was U.S. Air Force Colonel Joseph Kittinger in 1960, whose record still stands (as of this minute). He will be aiding Baumgartner in today's jump. 

UPDATE: The jump was aborted this day due to high winds. According to Red Bull Stratos on Facebook, the next attempt window will be Sunday, Oct. 14 at 6:30 a.m. MDT. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

More SpaceX Highlights: Pre- and Post-Launch Press Conferences

Me with the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, October 7. It left the Earth's bounds less than 7 hours later. 

Here are some links to the SpaceX press conferences that took place from October 6 to October 7. For some reason, Blogger isn't letting me embed video, so click on these links: 

Dragon Carrying Slew of Science to Station;

SpaceX Ready for Historic Flight

Post-Launch Press Conference; and 

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Praises SpaceX Launch

These links are courtesy of NASA Television on YouTube. I own nothing...except the amazing bitchface in the top video from 38:33 - 38:57. Also, I'm asking a question at 24:34 in the second video...woot! 

Thank you, NASA and SpaceX, for this amazing experience!

Contrary to my facial expression, I was perfectly happy! From a SpaceX press conference, October 6. Screenshot by Trent Faust - thank you! 

The SpaceX Experience: SpaceX Dragon CRS-1 NASA Social, October 6 - 7, 2012

About as real as it gets: Space X Falcon 9 launch, 8:35 p.m. EDT, October 7, 2012. 

Lori Garver, NASA's Deputy Administrator, October 7, 2012. 

I just came back from the Cape, having enjoyed the SpaceX launch experience last night. I was honored to have participated in the NASA Social for the launch this weekend. I tell you what - don't be tricked by its small size: the SpaceX Falcon 9 has some real juice to it. Here's video above, with audio, Florida News Network's Steve Carney took right next to me as the rocket thundered into space. 

Yes, it was really that badass. I've seen night launches before, but this was really something to behold. I don't have great photos of the launch, because I was just sitting back and enjoying it. In addition to seeing that sight, us space Tweeps also got to see the rocket on the pad, were embedded with news media in press conferences and treated like kings and queens, and also got to meet the woman above. And this guy:

Charlie Bolden, NASA's Administrator and shuttle badass/legend. 

NASA and SpaceX really outdid themselves as usual and the social was an amazing event. I got to realize one of my lifelong dreams this weekend: I got to participate in televised press conferences and ask Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president, about the launch. I finally made it! It was a great way to champion the cause of spaceflight. 

I am very fortunate and grateful to have been invited to this historic launch, and I recommend the NASA Social experience to all space buffs or people who simply like to have a great time.

A "Falcon" ready to take flight: SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket after being hoisted vertically on October 7, 2012. The Dragon capsule on board is set to rendezvous with the International Space Station on Wednesday, October 10. 

All photos by Emily Carney; video by Steve Carney. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Note to newcomers to this blog or people who aren't familiar with me/what I do...

I’ve gotten some messages over the last few weeks concerning people who think I personally know some of the astronauts I fangirl over/write about here. 
For the record, I don’t personally know anyone I write about. 
I’ve been lucky to have had brushes with some of them, but that’s about it. I’ve also been blessed to meet and know some amazing people who are in the spaceflight community, who are awesome - and they know who they are. But I respect their privacy. 
Also, if I was blessed enough to be personal chums with any of the great men and women who have flown for NASA/Roskosmos/ESA/other, I wouldn’t share any of their phone numbers, addresses, or email addresses with anyone due to me respecting peoples’ privacy. Yes, I’ve gotten messages from people - not people in the spaceflight community, but random fans - asking me for personal information. 
I would never give out anyone's personal information, regardless of their level of fame/infamy/whatever. 
Thank you; I hope this note didn’t sound too snarky, but I just wanted to clear this up. I merely live vicariously through space travelers, but I don’t personally know any of them. If I did, I wouldn’t share their personal information, because they probably would have the respect not to share mine or anyone else’s.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

SpaceX CRS-1 Launch? Yeah, I Got That.

Hey guys and gals, I know I don't update this space as diligently as I should (life and work happens, and I've been very busy - happily so!), but I haven't forgotten about spaceflight. 

In fact, I will be at SpaceX's next launch on Sunday, Oct. 7. I am quite honored to have been invited to the NASA Social for this historic event. 

So, I will be providing pictures and updates about this event. I will be at the KSC Press Annex Saturday and Sunday, for all of the pre- and post-launch events. Also, I'm hoping to scope out some of the various space sites in the area, such as the Space Walk of Fame Museum (I've been there before, but it's a wonderful place). 

Feel free to hit me up on Facebook ( or my group on Facebook, Space Hipsters (yes, that's really its name - If I don't update this blog immediately, I'll definitely have some stuff there. Happy launching!