Friday, June 08, 2007

The Shuttle

Today, the STS-117 launched. As of this writing, it is currently in orbit and set to dock.

However, this is just a mere coincidence because today at the Santa Monica Amateur Astronomy Club, a member, Jim Bartlett, who worked on building the engines for the orbiter (I believe) gave a talk about the space shuttle. It was a bit technical, so I can't remember most of the specs that were given, but I walked away with two main thoughts.

The shuttle is freaking huge. It is assembled at the Vehicle Assembly Building, which is a HUGE building that you just can't get into proportion. The orbiter itself (the part that actually goes to the International Space Station) is 16 stories tall if I remember correctly. That's huge. And it's assembled in the same place where the Saturn V rocket was built, the largest rocket ever designed.

Another thing, it's freaking heavy. By using extremely powerful machinery, the shuttle can only be moved by a crawler that goes at .9 mph. POINT nine, as in nine tenths. That's how heavy it is.

Unfortunately, I can't give you most of the information that he showed, because it was mostly in pictures, but I can say that it's really more interesting than I thought it would be. I didn't even doze off like I expected to (because I haven't really been getting all the sleep I need). If you could do research on it, I would highly recommend it.

Oh, and would you look at that, the SMAAC has their own blog. That's another thing for me to keep track of.

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