Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Apollo 8 Earthrise - December 24, 1968

I remember the moment well. It was the first time that a live television broadcast was made back to Earth as humans circled the moon. We were at my Uncle Nate's house in Pomona, California and everyone but me had drifted out of the TV room to the merriment that was occurring around the Christmas tree. I was captivated by the images of the first Earthrise ever witnessed.

Now, imagery from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is allowing scientists to recreate the moment exactly as it occurred more than 45 years ago.

Watch this excellent 7-minute video to see it as if you were there in the Apollo 8 Command Module.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Jet Trip Concludes - Some Reflections

Most everyone I spoke to on this trip expressed some mixed emotions as we approached Sanford Airport in Orlando. No one was eager to go on for another week - these trips are too fast paced and action packed. No ones waistline could take it either. But the group was quite congenial and good natured and some friendships were made. So it was with some ying and yang that we bid this trip to the history bin.

What is it like on jet rip like this?
Well, we get to walk on tarmacs a lot and get close to the jet and it's inner workings

Even stand by the engines and get a short description of how it works from the two engineers that travel with us

The jet is quite roomy with comfortable seats and fantastic service

Eazster Foldvary was our expedition leader...

...with Ester Pereria as the assistant. They were both fantastic trip leaders (I have traveled with them both before many times).

But what is it really like? I find that I need to decompress a lot on these trips, to just look for any private moments I can since the rest of the time I am so public. For that reason, I usually feel like I wish I had talked more to my fellow staff persons on the trip. I think we all are so involved with our jobs every moment and stealing the few moments we can for private time that we really have so little time to just reflect on it all. There is probably no way around this, just interesting.

I really enjoy seeing the world we live in. As I have mentioned many times on these pages, I thoroughly enjoy watching the jet slice through the sky and scraping the clouds. It is so beautiful up there and when you have the luxury to fly often, the tendency to watch "deeper" increases. Today, on the way home in my commercial jet, I watch overcast over Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico for four hours! I guess I am odd that way. But hey, it is better to be entertained than bored to tears.

I wonder when this gif will come obits eventual end. But I often recall the plea I made to my dad in 1964, when I asked him to take me to another state. I've always had the desire to see far off places and meet other cultures. That will never change. And now, I have the lovely Helen to come home to and I just feel like the luckiest person in the whole wide world!

Statistics for the trip:

We traveled 23,560 statute miles on the private jet. With my commercial flight to London and back home, I went over 30,000 miles on a jet in 25 days.

We had 14 take-offs and 14 landings on the private jet.

We used 53,698 US gallons of fuel

We used 1300 pounds of ice, 70 pounds of cheese, 120 bottles of white wine and 140 bottles of red.

Whew! I'm coming home Helen.