Today I was invited over to NASA Ames to attend the science night and watch the live stream of the LADEE spacecraft launch onboard the Minotaur V rocket. Representatives from different missions and projects at NASA Ames were available to share their knowledge of the science that Ames is part of everyday.
There were models of the Spheres and LADEE spacecraft, and a cubesat. The cubsat was levitating in midair, which was really cool to observe.
Another station was showing off the science being planned to be launched to the ISS next August. They will send fruit-flies to the ISS and perform research about how things are different in zero-gravity. The food source for the flies is on the blue end of the cassette.
NASA Ames Fire Engine E4 came to provide children of all ages an opportunity to view a big red engine up close. I even got to sit in the driver’s seat, the first time since I was very young.
The news media arrived for their live shots during their 5 and 6 o’clock newscasts.
A Bluegrass band played a few songs for the growing crowd.
One of the highlights of the night was by far being able to walk through Hangar One. Having taken pictures of the hangar from various vantage points, following the process of deskinning it of toxic materials, I have never had the opportunity to go inside. This was the first time the public has been allowed to enter it for some time. It was worth the wait.
It was amazing! And watching the sunset through the hangar walls was priceless and made my day. I couldn’t stop saying “Wow!” to myself as I walked through that hangar. It is truly a historic piece of work that needs to be preserved.
There were several aircraft open to the public next to the airfield. Having seen them take off and land at Moffett Field frequently, it was fascinating to see what’s inside.
Passing back through Hangar One, I spotted a member of the event staff taking pictures of the hangar. I couldn’t blame him for giving into the urge to photograph this amazing historic landmark.
As launch time approached and the sky darkened, the crowd swelled.
A live video feed from Wallops on the east coast showed the rocket on the launchpad.
Other social media attendees, their faces lit by their various screens, focused intently on Twitter and tweeted their excitement for the mission.
After the launch, we were treated to more music while we waited as the spacecraft continued its journey into orbit.
After receiving word that the launch was a success, the event officially ended.
I went back to see Hangar One lit against the dark sky and was amazed at the difference in appearance. The metal structure had a duller grey color instead of a silvery reflective color during the day.
The day was full of surprises and experiences that will find a home in my memory book. At least until NASA tops this. Stay tuned.
Each day this month I’m travelling around the Bay Area. I’m opening my eyes up to the treasures around where I call home and discovering you don’t have to travel to faraway places to have “vacation” experiences.