Is it already the end of 2013? As everyone always says, “boy, this year went by quickly.” And another saying, “time flies when you’re having fun.” This year was full of space and NASA activities.
In January, I had a opportunity to visit Space Shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center. She was elevated off the ground in her temporary new home.
In February, the Landsat 8 spacecraft was launched from Vadenburg Air Force base in Southern California.
In April, the Solar Impulse got ready for her voyage across the country. She was stationed at Moffett Field and I got to see her during an open house.
During the open house, I had the chance to see what the inside of Hangar 2 looked like…supported by lots of timber.
My team won first place at the Hertz hackathon, winning $15,000.
A few days later the Solar Impulse flew over the South Bay and San Francisco.
In May the Solar Impulse took off for her flight across the United States, leaving Moffett Field for the last time.
There was also a Super Moon in May.
I caught a rainbow over the Vermont Statehouse in June.
I visited Space Shuttle Discovery in Washington DC at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.
At Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, NASA held a NASA Social and gave us a glimpse at how the Centennial Challenge helps to brainstorm and prototype robots that could eventually perform autonomous tasks like retrieving a sample on the moon, planet, or other distant location.
Back home at NASA Ames at the end of July, another NASA Social gave us front row seats to watch a rover being controlled remotely from the International Space Station. Another seemingly simple task was complicated with normal delays between Earth and the station orbiting 230 miles above ground.
Our group was treated to a Launchpad tour and had the opportunity to view the flame trench up close.
A few days later I went to Lassen Volcanic National Park during the Dark Night Sky Festival. NASA had representatives there to explain the effects of light pollution and to show visitors the amazing night sky they are missing.
I also got to see the thermal features.
In August, I had the opportunity to camp at Yosemite which has been on my bucket list. Of course there was hiking and beautiful views.
The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge opened at the beginning of September.
The LADEE mission also launched in September, where I was invited to watch at NASA Ames.
In September, October, and November, Sleek-geek was part of the Manos Accelerator. We met a lot of advisors and people with experience in running a startup and business.
In December, Union Square was filled with Santas for Santacon.
I visited the Cable Car Museum in San Francisco and got to learn that the cable cars use a steel cable that is powered in the same building and is run throughout the city using pullies underground.
The Space Shuttle program may be over, with each orbiter safe in their homes, but there are plenty of things NASA is working on to prepare for the next generation of exploration. Others like the Solar Impulse team took on challenges like flying a solar powered aircraft across the country successfully. And through our National Parks, we get to appreciate the beauty of nature both during the day, and the universe at night.
Happy New Year!