Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Space Shuttle and Space Station: New Toys

I was born during the SkyLab generation. If you don't know what it was, it was the world's first largest space station that was used to study the sun(particularly coronal holes) and microgravity, including its effects on long-haul orbital or deep space flights.

It has been a media event, as it was launched into orbit at the height of a Cold War, where space program is an interferometer of military might and technological power, and a country that has one is touted to rule the world.

Because of the micrometeroid, its thermal protection was torn apart, exposing itself to the dangers of the intense solar heating. The SkyLab was then predicted to make a re-entry and fall back to the Earth, citing Pacific Ocean to be the crash zone.

It created massive fear as countries, including the Philippines, near the zone may be hit a rain of burning debris(metals coming from the Earth's atmosphere tend to be so hot, they're almost at a melting point).

My mom always told us to be good always, using the SkyLab crash-landing as an iota of fear, saying that it may burn our house. We lived with that fear until the SkyLab finally kissed the ground and hit the Esperance town of Australia.

Just recently, I got a gift from Dr. Armand Lee, my fellow Board of Director from the astronomical community I belong to. It's a US Space Shuttle and a Russian Mir Space Station. I laugh at it saying, ha, I got the Russian and US space agency in my hand.

I brought them in the office and they are now happily gracing my used-to-be-drab desk, in between my laptop and desktop. Someday they might render useful when I use them as props for my discussion on Einstein Theory of Relativity, time dilation, and probably time travel.

My thanks to Dr. Lee and Merry Christmas to him and his family. He sure knows how to tickle my geeky bones.

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