Some of the overlooked ones

One of the services in WWII that is not known by many people is the Women Airforce Service Pilots. During WWII pilots were needed in Europe and the Pacific. And unlike the Soviet Union, women were not allowed in combat. Since every single male pilot was needed for the front lines, there was a real need for experienced pilots to ferry airplanes from place to place, both within the United States and abroad. In 1943 the WASPs were formed.

If you’ve never heard of them, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. During the war, they weren’t considered a part of the military, only an auxiliary, and received no military recognition or benefits. This is starting to change. There is now a WWII WASP museum located in Sweetwater, Texas. I plan on visiting it sometime.

One of the books that I read that helped to tell me about the WASPs and about the Mercury 13 is Amelia Earhart’s Daughters, The Wild and Glorious Story of American Women Aviators from World War II to the Dawn of the Space Age. This isn’t the most scholarly book, but it is a good place to start.

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A year ago I got word about NASA tweetup

At the end of the work day on Sept 1, 2010, I got an email from NASA HQ. I had been seeing some tweets from folks about the NASA tweetup, but was not expecting anything. I had signed up for the NASA tweetup, but honestly I sign up for contests and mostly don’t win, so I figured it was a another contest to try but not win.

My mind was officially blown. I opened up the email and it said “Congratulations, you have been selected.” I came very, very close to sitting on the floor at that point. I read through the email, and re-read it. I was in shock.

Now its a year later. I have met some really incredible folks in the year between. Thank you NASA.

And now I have been given the opportunity to attend another NASAtweetup, this time for the GRAIL mission. I’ll be heading down early next week with several other people in town to speak to the mission specialists and watch the Delta II with the satellites launch. Woohoo! I have truly become a space geek.

STS-135 Atlantis has a tentative launch date

Its official. Space Shuttle Atlantis has a NET launch date of July 8, 2011 at 11:40 AM EDT. And NASA will be hosting one last space shuttle launch tweetup. Registration for the tweetup opens on June 1 at 12:00PM EDT and ends on June 2 at
12:00PM EDT, provided Endeavor’s landing doesn’t cause a delay. Double check with NASA’s website tweetup page to verify this when as it gets closer to the time.

Its the last shuttle launch. Ever. And until we get a new vehicle made, it’ll be the last launch of people for the USA.

Shuttle Launch no earlier than Dec 17th

And Discovery’s launch has been pushed back to a possible mid December launch to allow the team to figure out why those external tank stringers have have been cracking. She will fly, but it will be when she is safe to go.

I still don’t know if I will be able to attend, but if I can I will. I won’t purchase a ticket until they actually set a launch date. Its too uncertain to get that ticket until the NASA folks and engineers are more confident of the cause.

New Launch window and invite!

OMG! All the STS-133 Nasatweetup participants received an email today. If we still have our credentials, and can make it to Florida for the launch window November 30 – December 6th, we can watch the launch from the press site!!!!! Excuse me while I go a bit nuts for a little bit! Woohoo! Yipee! Hooray! W00t!

I do need to temper this a bit. I don’t know that I can take vacation for this. I used a week for the first launch window. And I cannot stay for the entire window. I already have a commitment for Dec 4th for my business. So I need to see several things before I can say that I’ll be able to go down for it. I want to go. I really want to go! But I have a number of duckies to get in a row before I can say that I can go.

Oooooh but if I can, I will!