Archive for July, 2011

Space Shuttle Atlantis’ Final Flight and the Fleet’s Museum Duty Prep

July 12, 2011

On July 8th, 2011, the Space Shuttle Atlantis took off on its last mission, STS-135NASA prepared extensively for the final 13-day flight that will close out the Space Shuttle Program.  Atlantis was moved to its launch pad at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on May 31, and lifted off on July 8 at 11:29 A.M. EDT (1529 GMT).  The shuttle rolled out to the launch pad just hours before its sister ship, Space Shuttle Endeavour, landed early morning on June 1, wrapping up STS-134, its own final mission: a 16-day delivery flight to the International Space Station.  The four-person astronaut crew has worked extremely hard to prepare for Atlantis’, and the Space Shuttle Program’s, last mission.

STS-135 marks the final flight of Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Space Shuttle Program. The Space Shuttles must undergo extensive preparations before assuming museum duty.Many of you may be wondering what will happen to all the space shuttles after this last launch.  Well, the space shuttles are getting ready for their second lives as museum pieces.  The shuttles themselves will go through a lengthy clean-up process before they’re ready for their public debuts.  When a shuttle lands, it’s covered in hazards: liquid hydrogen and oxygen for fuel, ammonia for coolant, and live pyrotechnics for blowing out emergency escape windows.  “We have to remove those chemical hazards so that when it’s in a museum, the public can walk up to it without risk of things outgassing or dripping,” said NASA flow director Stephanie Stilson, who oversaw all the post-flight checkups and pre-flight preparations for Discovery’s last 11 trips to space and is now getting the remaining space shuttles ready for retirement.  Because of these space shuttles, we have been able to make many advances in science and technology.

Once the space shuttles are prepared and deemed safe for public viewing, we can view these magnificent space vehicles at museums around the country.  Space Shuttle Discovery will be located at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center just outside Washington, D.C.  Space Shuttle Endeavour will be located at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.  Space Shuttle Atlantis will be located at the Kennedy Space Center just outside Orlando, Florida.

Watch the final launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis, which took place on July 8, 2011.

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Joie Montoya

Happy Birthday South Sudan (via The Mzungu Diaries)

July 12, 2011

Nothing necessitates the printing of updated maps more than the birth of a nation.

Happy Birthday South Sudan I have seen RPGs before. They're funny because they look like toys. A gun is a gun, but an RPG is a stick with a rugby ball on the end and it looks comic unless it's pointed at you. What I had never seen, however, was the sheer array of weaponry that South Sudan insisted on lining its roads with in the run-up to independence. Not that you can blame them, though. As the bus enters Juba it passes a long stretch of road on which the rectangular shad … Read More

via The Mzungu Diaries

Top 20 Places to Visit in Europe

July 11, 2011

Traveling across Europe is many Americans’ dreams, whether it is backpacking through it, honeymooning in it, or spending an extended holiday immersed in it.  If you are visiting for a short time, it can be quite stressful to figure out which places to visit and explore.  There are so many beautiful sights to see all over Europe.  So here is a list of the twenty best European vacation spots:

Barcelona

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Paris

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Lisbon, Portugal

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Berlin

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Budapest, Hungary

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Prague

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Amsterdam

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

London

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Istanbul

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Madrid

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Rome

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Florence

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Copenhagen

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Crete, Greece

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Zurich

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

St. Petersburg

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Mykonos, Greece

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Krakow, Poland

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

Glasgow, Scotland, UK

The next time you plan on taking a trip to Europe, make sure to visit the sights of at least one of these 20 cities.

These spots have many points of interest to visit and things to see and do.  You can experience the culture of these many great places which, as you will discover, you can never do in just one day.  Now choosing where to go is the hard part!  Europe is a beautiful place and should be explored widely.  When going to a different country you should always remember to pack lightly and travel smart!

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Taylor P.

New Theme: Château (via WordPress.com News)

July 8, 2011

The newest theme for WordPress.com, Château, has elegance and class.

New Theme: Château Today we are introducing an elegantly designed and typographically pleasing theme, Château. Designed by Ignacio Ricci, Château has been crafted with close attention to detail and typography. Its beautiful, minimalist look allows you to make your content the focal point of your blog. Aside from a brilliant design, this theme offers many cool featur … Read More

via WordPress.com News

It’s Been Almost A Year: “Top Ten Things I Say In NYC All The Time” (via It’s Always An Adventure)

July 7, 2011

When I have kids of my own one day and we happen to be on the subway or bus in NYC, I think I’ll be telling them not to lick the pole, too.

It's Been Almost A Year: "Top Ten Things I Say In NYC All The Time" Okay, it is hard to imagine, but it is coming up on our one year anniversary of living in New York City. What an adventure it has truly been! Over the past few days I have started to reflect back on this past year and all of the challenges and changes that we have encountered. I wouldn't change a thing. Although I do find myself desperately missing a BBQ, but I will save that for another post 😉 This city is crazy, intense, awe inspiring, but bes … Read More

via It's Always An Adventure

Photographs from Bologna: The food capital of Italy… (via Dakota .D Journal)

July 6, 2011

Photographs from Bologna: The food capital of Italy... This month has been another amazing chapter of travel through Italy!! I’ve been to: Florence, Pisa, Venice and Verona, each of which have had their own unique sense of character. Bologna however, is my favorite city in Italy for it’s celebrated food culture… Memorable mornings in Bologna were spent at local café’s where I savored some of the best Italian coffee and pastries. The taste of rich cappuccinos, macchiatos and poached cherry tarts wer … Read More

via Dakota .D Journal

The Wondrous, Santa Barbaran Fourth of July Fireworks Show (via modeofaide)

July 5, 2011

I miss watching the Fourth of July Fireworks Show in Santa Barbara. I watched the fireworks show during two stints of summer school at UCSB in 2000 and 2001. The first time, I watched it with roommates from my apartment at the hillside where SBCC is located. The following year, my friends and I parked at the outdoor mall, Paseo Nuevo (where the parking was free, a welcome treat for us broke college students at the time), walked State St. all the way to Stearns Wharf and waited for seven hours before the fireworks show took place directly above us.

The Wondrous, Santa Barbaran Fourth of July Fireworks Show We were running late.  Shifting around scores of people as we rushed along the downtown section of State Street, we began to both hear and feel the explosions in the sky.  It didn’t matter.  Our patriotic endeavor was successful.  The only thing more pleasant than the fireworks themselves were the looks on people’s faces as they gazed upon the blinding colors.  Independence is beautiful. Neon explosions. The intermezzo. The denouement. For those … Read More

via modeofaide