I Want to be a Spaceman

28 06 2010

After the not unexpected disappointment of the  of the football on Sunday (Germany were much better than us, and I still would have dropped Wayne Rooney) and the fact that it took me an hour to get into work today, I have had quite a good morning.

I went to a lecture by US Astronaut Michael Good, who has been on 2 shuttle missions (Space Shuttle Atlantis), the first being 12 days to repair the Hubble telescope and the 2nd being 12 days on the International Space station, fitting a new module and changing the batteries in 3 space-walks.  He was also on the last ever Space Shuttle flight.  Apparantly, he is the University of Portsmouths Institute of Cosmology and Gravitational studies assigned Nasa astronaut.

Speaking at the University Michael said 

“While in space you see sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes so you have 18 nights everyday. It gets incredibly dark at night but is amazing to be in the best planetarium in the world. The stars don’t just twinkle, you can distinguish between the colours – stunning blues, reds, yellows and whites.

“Floating in space is a lot more fun than I expected – you can fly around like Peter Pan up there. Before the launch we decided to make sure we had fun on board and there was a lot of laughter. I often had tears welling-up in my eyes but they wouldn’t roll down my cheeks because that doesn’t happen in space!”

There was a brilliant video that showed parts of the mission from launch to landing and included some absolutely hilarious zero gravity scenes (astronauts acting like the game hungry hippos with a bag of M&M’s was brilliant) and some amazing photos taken by himself of the Earth.  It really was quite spectacular.

Here are a few space facts for you.

  • The International Space Station Orbits the Earth 19 times a day.
  • Michael Good has travelled 10,155,978 miles in just 24 days and has orbited the Earth 383 times.
  • You need to be travelling about 11k/m’s a second to break the Earths Gravitational pull and enter orbit.
  • It takes 8.5 minutes to get into space travelling at 17500 m.p.h

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