Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Battleship Update

Tuesday 2PM Facebook post from the Pacific Battleship Center:

"Tuesday Weather Update: the system has picked up a little bit with gale wind warnings on Weds/Thurs/Fri down the central and southern coasts. We are still looking late in the week for departure. As soon as we have more information we will put it out there."

I was driving west from Reno about an hour after the Facebook post...those forecast gale-force winds were howling right down the Truckee River Canyon. One unplanned almost-lane change got my attention in a New York second!

Jeremy Bonelle Photo from The Pacific Battleship Center Facebook Album. Iowa's new paint looks great!
I know I promised photos, but I can't make any until Iowa is underway...and my attempt at eclipse photos yielded weak results...I need a solar filter for my 90mm telescope, or a digital point and shoot camera with a much longer lens than what I've got now.

At 96% exposure time is long thru the eclipse glasses...I was a little excited...
Enjoy this awesome photo I found online:

I'm pretty sure the Milky Way was photo shopped in back here on Earth. I love the New Moon's shadow on the cloud bank...I'm sure that's a real image, but these daylight photos from ISS never show stars...the Earthshine overwhelms the starlight, and after all, the Milky Way is all stars...

In a related note, SpaceX launched the first commercial spacecraft to go to the International Space Station Monday morning. It was pretty cool watching it LIVE online.

Now I've been watching live NASA launches since I was a kid...I started watching before there were astronauts onboard. Monday morning's launch had something I've never seen

When the Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule on to made it successfully into orbit, the SpaceX people jumped up and down for children their joy and relief showed like CinemaScope on my little laptop was such a genuine human moment...something I never saw before... from the buttoned-down NASA guys.

The only thing close wasn't NASA per se, but JPL scientists getting first data from their planetary probes several years after they were launched...still great happiness, but no jumping up and down like giddy children.

We'll be seeing more scientists doing the happy dance when NASA's next Mars Mission arrives at the Red Planet on August 5th, 2012. This mission includes a Mars Rover named Curiosity that's the size of a small SUV.

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