Endeavour’s final flight

May 17, 2011 at 8:45 am (News, Random)

Yesterday morning I spent about 45 minutes at a home on Dover Street in Riverdale. There, I watched Vijay and Alena Bhatnagar as they viewed the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour, which carried their son-in-law into orbit in a successful take off. It was an emotional and historic event.

It’s Endeavour’s last journey. Drew Feustel, who has huge connections to Cornwall through his wife Indira Bhatnagar, is on board for his second trip to space. He’ll be doing three of the four space walks – in my opinion, the coolest job there is – during the 16-day mission to the International Space Station.

The Endeavour quickly disappeared from sight after the successful launch on May 16.

This has been an incredible story to cover. I’ve interviewed Drew once, and have spoken with his wife on several occasions. Vijay sends me emails probably once a day. I have a folder full of photos of the crew’s training at NASA, the Endeavour, Indira and their boys, family gatherings. I’ve written almost a dozen stories on the launch and local reaction.

Yesterday I had NASA TV on almost the entire day, catching a few clips of the astronauts in orbit and hearing the command centre communicate with the shuttle crew. It never ceases to amaze me … the conversations across hundreds of miles, the speed those men are hurtling through space, the precision and detail necessary for each task, the dozens of people involved in each minute aspect.

I’m no scientist, and I don’t think I have what it takes to be an astronaut … but if I ever win the lottery, I’m going to go to space.


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