I went to see the new Star Trek movie last weekend. It was awesome. That’s not what I came to talk about today, though. On Monday, the first astronaut from Purdue’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (the 22nd overall from the University) boarded Atlantis for the final repair mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Andrew Feustal received a BS and MS from EAS, and lived in Cary Quadrangle (all the cool kids lived there).
So having a bit of something in common with him, I was pretty excited to watch the launch on Monday afternoon. The University’s president happens to have Chief Scientist at NASA on her resume, so having her there at the launch party made it all the more interesting. Even though the streaming video feed was a bit choppy, it was really exciting. I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut, and a part of me felt like I was there.
And then yesterday, Drew made his first EVA. Many hours floating around in space performing work on the Hubble more difficult than anything done previously. I think the most impressive thing was when he came out of the shuttle, his words were “too cool.” Very matter-of-factly. Rock and roll. Four EVAs remain, with Drew making the Saturday and Monday walks. I look forward to watching NASA TV all day again for those.
Science is cool!