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Forum:Space Events & Happenings
Topic:3/14: National Air and Space Society Lecture (VA)
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GlintMy friend Tom invited me to the happy hour and buffet in the space hangar before the lecture. We picked a small rather out of the way 4-top table located beneath the wing of STS Discovery.

While minding our own business a couple approached and asked if the other two seats were spoken for and if not could they join us. I looked up and it was Bob Crippen and his wife Pandora. What a nice couple they are.

Before the buffet I saw NASM space shuttle curator Dr. Valerie Neal near the book store driving an electric cart. I mentioned that I had seen her the previous night on the National Geographic Channel's documentary "Shuttle Discovery's Last Mission" on Netflix. She seemed pleased to be recognized and admitted she has yet to see the program for herself.

Tom enjoying dinner with Discovery
jiffyq58I was at this event as well and, as Jason says, it was top notch. Great to meet you Jason, and Bob and Eric, too. I really appreciated hearing the insights into the shuttle program that Crippen, Magnus, and Hale offered.

I also went back to Udvar-Hazy the next day to hear Pam Melroy speak, and was really impressed with her ability to make her talk interesting to both the adults and the children in attendance. There were a lot of kids there, especially girls, since the program was celebrating women in aviation and space history. Melroy invited as many kids as would fit to come down and sit on the floor in front of her so they could see the pictures she was showing in her presentation. And she took a lot of questions after she finished her talk, and every single one of them was asked by a child. She took those questions about how do you go to the bathroom in space, and how do you eat in space, which I'm sure she has heard about a million times, like it was the first time she had ever heard them asked. She was really great with those kids.

It made me wish I had brought my 4-year-old son with me to hear her. I didn't think he would do well at the event the night before, or I would have. Next time they do something that is geared towards young people, I'll be bringing him.

JBoeIt was a great night and wanted to share a photo of us that we had someone take.

 photo IMG_6401.jpg

Left to Right: Jeff, me, Eric (Bob's son), and Bob

jiffyq58Thanks for posting that, Jason!
fredtravUnfortunately, living well away from Washington, I could not make the event. I would like to thank the staff of the store for getting me a signed book and sending it on to me. Much appreciated.
GlintTom noticed my tie in Mark Usciak's photo of the event posted in the Sightings section. His photo also caught Sandy Magnus encouraging me to rejoin the AIAA.
stsmithvaI was able to attend this event, and thought I'd add something hopefully interesting I just learned about the invitation I received from the Air and Space Society for it.

The cover showed a beautiful aerial picture of a shuttle launch. Now, it's possible this photo is old news to the many, many cS members more knowledgeable of the shuttle than I, but I just couldn't put it out of my head. I tried Google searches like "best shuttle launch photos" to find it, but to no avail. Today I e-mailed Emily at the Society to ask if by any chance she could tell me what photo it was, so I could get it printed to 16x20 for my wall. Within minutes she had sent me a link to the photo.

It's of Discovery's first launch, for 41-D. I won't gush about it; you can take a look yourself (be sure to click on the high-res link at the bottom) to see how perfectly the shuttle and its trail are framed in the sun's reflection, and how you can see the VAB down at the bottom.

Here's the icing on the cake: I had assumed that NASA had put one of their top photographers on board a plane, considering how superb the artistic and technical aspects of the photo are. I just noticed at the bottom of the page that it was taken by one John W. Young! - Steve

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