Space & Respect

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Space Shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Centre, Florida
I have always loved anything to do with Space. Constellations, comets, planets and meteors spark my inquisitive mind. I love looking out on a clear night and seeing all the sparkling stars and planets in our sky. I particularly enjoy spotting the different constellations and even bought a telescope (not a good one) to see more.

The moon can be truly mesmerising sometimes and I still marvel at the fact that humans have actually set foot on it. This is certainly something that I would never have the courage to do, I hate flying in a plane so just the idea of venturing into space fills me with fear. I respect those men and women that have done, they've allowed us to find out all kinds of things about space and the moon.

Having watched Gravity recently I realised what dangers these men and women face every time they step into that space shuttle. They pass through the atmosphere and hurtle towards the ground on re-entry and there's always a chance something could go wrong. Like Columbia.

Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 Crew
For me, whenever I hear the word Columbia I remember what happened to that flight. On 1st February 2003, at the end of its 28th mission, Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) disintegrated during re-entry resulting in the deaths of all crew aboard. Rick Husband, Commander; William C. McCool, Pilot; Michael P. Anderson, Payload Commander; David M. Brown, Mission Specialist 1; Kalpana Chawla, Mission Specialist 2; Laurel Clark, Mission Specialist 4; and Ilan Ramon, Payload Specialist were the seven people that perished when a piece of insulating foam from the external fuel tank peeled off during the launch 16 days earlier and struck the shuttle's wing.

Astronauts Memorial
People remember Columbia this way but actually that space shuttle spent a long time taking flights into space. On 25th March 1979 Columbia was delivered to John F. Kennedy Space Centre as the first fully functional Space Shuttle Orbiter. During its service it flew 28 flights, spent 300.74 days in space and completed 4,808 orbits. Columbia travelled 125,204,911 miles in total, including its final mission. Another thing that Columbia did was carry the first female commander of a US spacecraft. Lt Col Eileen Collins was the Commander of STS-93 which launched on 23rd July 1999.

I have visited Kennedy Space Centre in Florida and stood next to the Astronaut Memorial where they have the names of every astronaut that has lost their life on a space mission. It is very humbling to look at those names and realise what they did.

Here on earth we take many things for granted, gravity and oxygen spring to mind. Both of these things are missing in space and astronauts have to learn to live in an environment without them. Special space suits allow them to carry out work with an allowance of air and the space shuttles have oxygen tanks. When you drop something in space it will not drop to the ground, as I'm sure we all know, but also the astronauts have to cope with the changes their bodies go through. Their lives are always in jeopardy, something completely out of their control could happen and change everything.

This is one job I don't think just anyone could do. 

Have you watched or read anything recently that made you stop and think? How do you think you would cope in space?


Mama and More

4 comments:

  1. I've just been reading Christine Hadfield's book (An astronaut's guide). It is just amazing the amount and depth of training prospective astronauts have to go through!

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    1. Absolutely! Thanks for stopping by xx

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  2. I am still refusing to watch Gravity, even though my husband swears it is amazing. I know this is one job I just couldn't do! #AllAboutYou

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    1. Your husband is right! I think we've watched it three times since it arrived at the house. It is really a fantastic movie. No I couldn't do it either, I'm too much of a scaredy-cat!

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