Friday, September 21, 2012

Space Shuttle Endeavour's Final Mission

Where were you when the Space Shuttle Endeavour made it's final flight over Loara?

Today September 21, 2012 Marks the day that the Shuttle Endeavour flies its final mission.  What makes this notable is it flew by Loara High School at 12:30 pm, leaving a mark on all the faculty, staff and student body.  The shuttle flew piggyback flight on a 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft from Florida to California on its way to the California Science Center in Exposition Park, where it will make its debut on Oct. 30, 2012.

When things of this magnitude happen during the school day, it always has the campus in a buzz waiting for it's arrival.  I recall seeing the Space Shuttle challenger explode back in 1986 and that vision has left a mark in my memory, it's nice to have a positive memory to sit side by side with it. School's are filled with many moments good and bad, and when a good moment comes we need to celebrate them, rejoice in them and be thankful for them when they come.

The kids were apathetic until the large 747 and Shuttle flew directly over head ... the stir on campus and the IPhones, Droids and Blackberrys came out in force.  Some teachers snuck on the room, students were atop benches .. If only the fence around Sammy was removed.

When I was a child in the 70's airplanes and space were always a thing for me.  My dad worked for Autonetics before it merged with Boeing and the pictures and stories I remember seeing always fascinated me. In the years that followed Star Trek, Star Wars and Science Fiction become passions and loves of mine (along with many kids I grew up with).  It's sad to see these amazing machines put in museums to no longer fly, yet it fills me with wonder to what is to come?  Will Teleporters pull me into space?

I love being a teacher, I have loved it since I started in 1987.  I have seen the Berlin Wall come down, I have see terrorists take down the Twin Towers, I have seen wars start and I have seen wars end.  Nothing and I mean nothing makes these events more thrilling than when you get to experience it first hand and watch them through your students eyes.  My parents generations question used to be "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" now we can ask "Where were you when the Shuttle Endeavor flew it's final mission?" and these 2600 kids can answer, I was at Loara High School watching it with my teacher.

Orange County Register September 19, 2012

Endeavour at a glance
Endeavour was built as a replacement for Challenger, which was destroyed in an accident that killed seven astronauts in 1986.  NASA lost a second shuttle, Columbia, and seven more crew members in 2003.  That orbiter was not replaced.
Number of missions: 25 missions over 20 years
Total time in space: 299 days
Total number of orbits: 4,671
Total miles traveled: 122,883,151
Firsts: First service mission to the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as the first mission to add a US component to the International Space Station.
How it got its name:  The shuttle was named by schoolchildren after the ship that 18th century British explorer James Cook sailed during his first voyage of discover in the Pacific Ocean.

sources: California Science Center and NASA

As mentioned int he graphic on the left (OC Register):

The permanent display for the shuttle will be called the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center. The shuttle will be displayed vertically, with its boosters and external tank, as if prepared for launch.  It is expected to open in 2017.

No comments:

Post a Comment