Here is a picture of mission control, showing the launch. The pilot flew by hand, rather than autopilot, which is very hard to achieve, but he did it beautifully. Margaret is payload astronaut, so her job is to take care of the satellite that they will be retrieving. The teacher astronaut for this mission is Margaret's science teacher, who also happens to be the national liaison for teachers with NASA, so she is very knowledgeable and experienced. They are lucky to have her, and Margaret adores her. The launch was very well done, they all handled it very professionally. I might pop over again later-they have a camera feed to the inside of the shuttle, so we can see what the astronauts are doing. Ian says, "Mom, you know she's not a real astronaut, don't you?" but I can't help being excited!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Today is an exciting day for Margaret (she is the third from the left). Her school has a wonderful program called WAVE (Webber Aeronautical Ventures in Education). This is an astronaut and space science training program, and Margaret is heavily involved. There are only seven schools in the country that have this program, and it was set up by NASA. They have an actual space shuttle simulator. This year, Margaret was chosen as one of six astronauts. They do a lot of the same types of physical and simulator training that real astronauts do, and then they "fly" a mock mission. The launch was this morning, and they sleep in the shuttle tonight, so I won't see her again until tomorrow night.