Today's picture shows John Glenn at the NASA Mercury Control Center. John was preparing for his space flight, where he would become the first American to orbit the earth. His mission, the Friendship 7, was a success, and the US soon moved into the lead in the space race.
The early astronauts were military test pilots. The early days of the space program were so exciting because of the grand nature of the program, the science and high technology involved, and the Cowboy nature of the astronauts. I am saddened that much of the excitement has been lost from the NASA programs.
I had mentioned earlier that I have a group of really brilliant and hard working students this year. They decided early this year that they would build their own space probe and put it at the edge of space. Near Space is considered to be above 100,000 feet.
I am proud to report that things are on schedule for a January launch. The project has turned out to be much harder than anyone had imagined, but I still feel like they are going to be successful. They have defined success for their program to be: 1) They launch in January, 2) The probe reaches an altitude in excess of 100,000 feet, 3) That they maintain live telemetry from the probe for the entire duration of the flight, and 4) They successfully retreive the probe when it lands.
The part that turns out to be the hardest is maintaining live telemetry contact with the probe during the flight. They are having to overcome numerous technical challenges to make that part work.
Anyway, they are doing great work, and have set up a blog on their effort. If you visit the blog, and like what you see, I am sure they would be encouraged if you clicked the "Like" button on their page, and maybe left them an word of encouragement. So many times we are quick to see the "issues" with the younger generation, so when we have young people undertaking something like this, it is important to encourage them.
There Blog can be seen here:
Also, the local TV news just aired this story on their work: