Robots are red.
Robots are blue.
I’d LUV a personal robot or two.
How ’bout you?
Remember to spread the Space LUV today!
Happy Valentine’s Day
Here are my top ten 2011 space-related photos taken with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone. It’s so hard to pick only ten photos, I’ve decided to create several fav foto lists in different categories.
Two summers ago, she came home for a visit with one purpose in mind — watch the Astros play a 3-game series against the Nats in their new stadium. I’d never been there before, so we headed out for our adventure in southwest DC. We bought our tickets to sit above the Astros bullpen, so she could be close to her boys.
During the game, a man and two boys sat down next to us. One of the boys wore a NASA shirt. I asked where he got his shirt. He pointed to the man next to me and said his dad worked at NASA.
What an amazing coincidence. Of all the seats in the National’s Ballpark, two NASA employees end up sitting together.
I asked his dad where he worked. Houston, he told me. We chatted for a bit before I discovered he was an astronaut. Turns out he’d come to the game to throw out the first pitch. He brought his son and nephew along with him. Really nice guy.
I share this with you now because he’s up in space right this very minute. He broke the bonds of Earth yesterday on his first flight to space. And how cool is that?!? He’s circling the planet at 17,500 mph while I type.
Today’s STS-130 Flight Day 2 wake-up call was dedicated to Terry. Great song by Brandon Heath, “Give Me Your Eyes.” Wake-up calls for Space Shuttle missions are chosen by family and friends. The song selection says a great deal about the person, I think.
Mission Control ground-to-space Flight Day 2 audio recording.
I’ll share a few lyrics from “Give Me Your Eyes” by songwriters: Brandon Heath and Jason David Ingram. (The lyrics themselves serve as a wake-up call for service to the forgotten and broken-hearted.)
“Looked down from a broken sky. Traced out by the city lights. My world from a mile high. Best seat in the house tonight. Touched down on the cold black top. Hold on for the sudden stop. Breathe in the familiar shock. Of confusion and chaos.
All those people going somewhere. Why have I never cared?
Chorus: Give me your eyes for just one second. Give me your eyes so I can see. Everything that I keep missing. Give me your love for humanity. Give me your arms for the broken hearted. Ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me your heart for the ones forgotten. Give me your eyes that I can see.”
Great song. Great heart. Great guy. So nice to see the good ones fly.
Oh, sorry, I got caught up in the whole rhythm and rhyme thing.
Getting back to the event that started this whole story. I don’t recall whether the Astros won or lost. Steph can tell you, though. She’ll remember who got what hit. Who scored. How many runs batted in. How many errors.
But she won’t remember which astronaut she talked to. I will. I’ll be able to tell you how many times he flies. How many hours in orbit. What music he likes. And so on.
At least we’re keeping space in the family. Steph has stars in her eyes for Earth-bound Astros. I have stars in my eyes for Astros who leave Earth. Life offers such interesting parallels. Don’t you think?
You can find out more about Terry and the STS-130 crew at NASA.gov.
I was off work yesterday. I took advantage of light Friday morning traffic and headed out to Ikea for a bit of shopping. When I returned home and tried to assemble my new purchase, I thought of the crew on Space Station assembling the C.O.L.B.E.R.T. treadmill.
I starting thinking how much space travel is like a trip to Ikea.
Think about it. We have teams of people around the world designing equipment to be
Just like Ikea products…. (For those of you who shop at Ethan Allen, just trust me on this.)
Our astronauts have worked all week assembling the C.O.L.B.E.R.T.
Note: You may recall the kerfuffle (don’t you just LUV that word?) when Stephen Colbert won the write-in vote for the online contest to name a Space Station node. Alas, we named the node Tranquility and devised this wonderful acronym as a consolation prize: Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill. He’s a good sport. Here is Stephen Colbert’s YouTube video message to NASA when we launched the treadmill.
Astronaut Nicole Stott tried out the treadmill for the first time yesterday. Evidently they put all the parts in the right place. It worked. YAY! (You can follow Nicole’s Space Station adventure on Twitter.)
Even bigger than the treadmill, our astronauts and international crewmates, assembled the ENTIRE orbital outpost OUT IN SPACE — piece by piece, tool by tool, complete with instructions and remote service help from Mission Control. For 10 years we’ve been piecing together our technological marvel that orbits 24/7 over our heads every 90 minutes at a neck-breaking speed of 17,500 mph. Pretty aMAZing, if you think about it.
So, next time you shop at Ikea, lug home your purchases, and contemplate assembly, I challenge you to do this:
imagine yourself floating weightless.
Can you put together your products while floating free? Consider all the steps. Here are a few to consider.
Ok, now that you’ve finished creating your pretty new bookshelves and dressers, kitchens and bathrooms, and you’ve placed your newly assembled furniture or equipment where it belongs, you may want to do this next:
Go outside. Look up to the skies. Marvel at what we’ve accomplished peacefully in space.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like clapping.
Quick Post. I’m on my way to a creative writing course for a few days. I wanted to share these thoughts before I go.
Google DC is located north of the White House, not far from the new DC Convention Center, only a short distance from NASA Headquarters. Though Google DC is close by, it felt light years away in culture.
The offices are open and colorful with fun, funky furniture. I felt at home right away.
Side note: You should see my house. My home office is painted lime green. Yes, I know. You’ve raised your eyebrows at that. But really. If you stepped inside, you’d feel hopeful, energetic, renewed. Color makes a HUGE difference — at least in my life.
So my quick thought before I head out the door.
I’ve wanted for years to RE-decorate some NASA “creative spaces” at Headquarters with fun, colorful, spacey decor since WAY back in the 90’s when our new Deputy-to-be Lori Garver was running Policy and Plans. At the time, I proposed we re-model our Concourse break room after the Motley Fool model — the first business I’d seen at the time decorated with LOADS of color, as well as ping pong and pinball machines for stress release and team building. I was told we couldn’t because we only lease the building. Bummer.
But I haven’t given up the idea. I’ve simply changed my focus.
We have deadzone hallways in the center of the building on every floor (already equipped with sink, refrigerator, soda machine) that could be creative spaces. All we need to add are funky chairs, PAINT, and a self-serve coffee bar.
A place where employees could chat over ideas, unwind, recharge, and build community.
I met this week with Loraine Bjorendahl, Events Coordinator at Origo, to discuss an upcoming project (really aMAZingly cool project that you’ll go CRAZY about) that we’re planning. She mentioned the Swedish tradition of “Fika,” or coffee break, which is a time where they break the day, gather together, and share thoughts. She described Fika as a time of relaxed reflection where the best ideas flow.
So, here’s what I’m thinking:
Create “Fika Space” at NASA, a space where we can gather together to “share ideas” in a caffeine-charged color-soaked funky-chair inspired environment.
What say you? Are you with me? Arm yourselves with paint brushes. CHARGE!!!