Saturday, November 9, 2013

Olympic Torch Space Walk

I'm going to be honest. . . I was rather naive about the International Space Station until about a year ago. It wasn't until Canadian Astonaut Chris Hadfield took youtube geeking of his Space Station exploits to a new level that I became interested in what kinds of things were going on with the ISS. Hadfield is probably most geekingly famous for his farewell video from the Space Station. There are a good handful of pretty interesting space videos from teeth-brushing in space (and the difficulties of such an elementary task) to making Space Burritos. There are a good number of liquid oriented ones and they are seriously interesting. The one I remember the second most after Space oddity is the video on shaving in space, because my husband was awed (facial shaving = super hard in normal gravity).

Commander Hadfield totally hit my geek-strings with this video and, after entering back into the tweetisphere, I started following NASA on twitter and I was getting all sorts of awesome information to share with my students. It was around this time that Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory started his story line about the ISS and I was hooked in even farther. I thought it was pretty funny and I actually wanted to find out more about what was going on with space programs around the world. Were they really taking off from Kazakhstan or was that a Borat joke? Are the Russians dominating space travel at the moment?

So I started watching Hadfield's incredibly interesting videos about how things work in space. It gave me renewed hope in the international space program and what it could mean for our future or our children's future or our children's children's future. Sci-Fi seems that much more closer to reality, but it also makes you wonder why more isn't being done with setting up orbiting colonies or that steps aren't being taken to actually move forward (hello moon. . .it's still out there waiting for us). Even in the bleak state that the United States has put NASA into, the worldview on space travel is not directed solely on the United States. What a horrible self-centered world view.

As I was keeping tabs on major events, I missed such cool things as the launch of the Olympic Torch into space, but I wasn't about to miss the live footage of the Olympic Torch being handed off right outside the ISS! So I logged on this morning and watched live as Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy took the torch outside of the ISS and passed it back and forth, relishing the special historical moment. Here is the footage that I watched (after waiting like 36 minutes for it to start).

This was incredibly cool and I even got my daughter to sit and watch it for a little bit with me. It was incredibly watching them outside of the Space Station and listening to them list off every single thing they have to do. They then had to set-up the camera and move this and shift that and it was CRAZY! I said "you have got to be the most patient person in the world to be an astronaut!" This was just too cool and I had to geek a smidge today about the awesomeness of the ISS and how they really are trying to reach the rest of the world and remind them about how incredibly amazing the global space program is. . . inspiring a whole new generation.

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