Happy Memorial Day, folks! I hope everyone is enjoying their day and maybe even getting the chance to talk to some vets. Most of the people in my family who served are dead now, but it's still a good reminder of everything they did for us.
Yesterday was a freaking fantastic day for me because I got to tune in and watch the livestream of the space shuttle Atlantis return from its mission. They're playing highlights of the mission and the landing on the NASA TV page. It was amazing to first see the computer-model approach the shuttle was taking in real-time over the Pacific Ocean and hear the announcer live call the velocity and altitude. I mean, these were mind-blowing numbers - over 3,000 miles per hour and 300,000 feet at times. The shuttle went from Hawaii to California in minutes. Seriously, you should just let the video play.
Sometimes I think we take the space program for granted, especially since they'd already gone to the moon and all that before a lot of us were even born, so it's something that's always been around. I gained a better appreciation of the shuttle program when I listened to an episode of Astronomy Cast. It was an episode from February, and it literally gave me goosebumps. Goosebumps, I tell you. You can listen to the mp3 here.