Six years ago, today, I witnessed the historic nose-to-nose meeting of two space shuttles.
Discovery had the most time in space (almost a year when you add up her 39 missions over 27 years of service) while Enterprise had the fewest (zero, to be exact). The contrast in conditions could only be seen for the precious few hours they shared a runway at @airandspacemuseum #udvarhazy#nasa#spaceshuttlediscovery#OV103#nosetonose#Welcomediscovery
My kid Self would have flipped out as I was obsessed with the space shuttle program back then. Amazing to see it up close and to share it with Livia. She was not quite as amazed 😉
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but on 3/15/2009, I was piloting an Alaska Airlines 737-800 on an all-nighter from Kauai to Seattle. Half way across the Pacific Ocean on a moonless night, we saw a bright light above us. Neither of us could figure out what it was. A strange bright light over the ocean. Too high to be commercial. Too random and lit up to be military. Then...a friend of it showed up. Another bright light. I had seen a lot of things to that point, but had no idea what we were looking at. Then, one by one, both of the lights went out. The other pilot and I agreed that we’d better not tell anyone, or they’d think we were crazy.
The next day, we saw the news and realized what we had seen. The space shuttle Discovery, was docking with true International Space Station. That was the only other time I had seen it until today. Today was the first time I actually realized what I was looking at. 🤣
#discovery#nasa#AlaskaAirlines @alaskaair #pilotlife#work#ufo#iss#spaceshuttlediscovery#flying#pacificocean#cockpitview
Over the course of its 39 missions, Discovery logged a total of 365 days in space. It also put 148,221,675 miles on its odometer, another space shuttle record. The miles traveled by Discovery could have carried it to the moon and back more than 300 times. ————————————————
Astronauts aboard Discovery deployed NASA's Hubble Space Telescope on the shuttle's STS-31 mission in April 1990. Twenty-two years — and numerous repair missions — later, the instrument continues to snap stunning photos that help reshape our understanding of the cosmos.
@nationalparkservice #nps @airandspacemuseum #airandspacemuseum @nasa #nasa#discovery#spaceshuttle#spaceshuttlediscovery#washingtondc @smithsonian #smithsonian#smithsonianmuseum#hubble#hubbletelescope#airandspace
Hello everyone. Today, April 5th, marks the 8th anniversary of our first plant experiments in space. Thus, we dedicate this day to that early morning launch 🚀 of the 2nd to the last mission (STS 131) of the space shuttle Discovery. Shown here is a photograph taken by our very own Dr. Jin Nakashima, aviation photojournalist extraordinaire and beloved member of the @noble_cell_imaging team. Jin took this photograph as our Arabidopsis seeds, which would later germinate in space, made their way to the International Space Station.
The red- green horizontal bars that we added as a backdrop to the image are heat maps that represent changes in the expression of genes as the plants adapted to spaceflight. Because plants 🌱 will be an important component of advanced life support systems, we need basic studies on plant biology in space to guide in the generation of plant cultivars that will accompany humans to Mars and beyond.
One final note about this post. We were fortunate to have two extremely talented astronauts, Stephanie Wilson and Naoko Yamasaki (#swiperight 👉), to handle our plants in orbit. Shown are photographs of Stephanie and Naoko taken by Jin Nakashima, as they made their way to the launch 🚀 pad. Thank you Stephanie and Naoko for making our first plant experiments a success.