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October 31, 2011

game day and the future of manned space flight

Wasn't Saturday’s victory against Purdue just a comforting game? It was just one of those smooth games that didn’t play too much with our feelings. In certain respects I think the pregame flyover raised more feelings between tension and excitement. For those who did not show up to the game let me explain. Roughly ten minutes before the game there was an announcement that there was a flyover scheduled to take place and that it would be louder than usual so people should cover their ears. Little bit later we saw something very strange. The fly over was done with nothing less than a working jet pack. a technology such as this that even after such an extensive history behind it still causes wide eyed wonder.

Now why am I talking about jet packs on a astronomy blog? Because I want to remind people how certain devices we have built carry a sense of magic behind them. Devices such as the manned rockets and shuttles of the 60s and 80s. Devices that I think had a sense of wonder about them that helped glue countless eyes, minds and dreams to their accent. Let’s face it, manned space vehicles are strange. They function and move weirdly in an alien environment. They are also for all intents and purposes. Dead… for now.
My Saturday carried a more comforting and yet exhilarating sight that many did not get to see. At the engineering tailgate that Saturday I got to dock a new breed of manned space vehicle to the international space station. The vehicles name is Orion and will be ascending with manned crews by 2015. I had a chance to talk with two University of Michigan graduates who are currently working on the capsule. These gentlemen had a clear driving passion to see a grand return to manned space flight. And after experiencing the joystick controlled flight simulation and simply listening to the men making it happen, I am as well. I think soon in our future we will once again be drawn to the magic certain devices have. I think in the eyes of man space will once again be something more than a ceiling above us. It will be a vast and awe inspiring sea.

Posted by larken at October 31, 2011 11:08 PM


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