Grandma Glasses Watching Earth

ESA are you ready for the event?” calls out Houston Mission control. LiveISS stream_a view of Earth (13)

Waking up from her snooze, she went back to her reading corner to continue where she left off last night with her recording and video editing.

“Last week I started reading on HTML-CSS coding. The other day I just saw on TV how the Internet was developed. And today I am Watching Earth with the astronauts,” said Grandma Glasses.

She managed to make a short video Watching Earth_Live ISS Stream 13June2018   

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 Astronaut Commander Alexander Gerst

“ The space station is 20 years old, its first piece launched in 1998 and  construction completed in 2011. Can you imagine a research laboratory as  big as a football pitch in outer space? It took astronauts a total of 40 missions to put the space station together piece by piece.  And it has been the home and scientific laboratory for astronauts and scientists ever since.” Grandma Glasses never fails to amuse me with her  stories.

 

Astronauts are floating in space. But actually they are not floating, they are falling. Astronaut Tim Peake explains, “We do not fall to Earth because of our high speed, we fall ‘around’ Earth. We travel about 28 000 km/h (17 500 mph) but as we accelerate towards Earth under the pull of gravity, Earth curves away beneath us and we never get any closer. Since we have the same acceleration as the Space Station, we feel ‘weightless’.

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The Cosmic Classroom as well as other documentary videos are great advancements in educating students. They have access to speak with astronauts  in real time and learn about life onboard the space station.  All the students around the world participating in the Cosmic Classroom, including Grandma Glasses, learned that the heart beats slower in outer space so they need to exercise to avoid the heart from shrinking.  Also, astronauts  don’t smell well  with their nose  and affects their ability to taste food.  Food tastes a little bit more bland because body fluids tend to shift towards the chest  and head, blocking their nose and affecting how astronauts smell and taste food.

 

Curiously, Grandma Glasses watches a video of American astronaut Steven Swanson to further understand and see how it is to live and work inside the space station.

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American astronaut Steven Swanson

 

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American astronaut Steven Swanson

In another documentary video, Grandma Glasses learned about astronauts’ food onboard the space station. They have different kinds of food from the US, Russia, Japanese and even  occasional stock of their favorite foods their families send from Earth. They have ready-made food and some dehydrated food in packets that they rehydrate and heat up in the food warmer when it’s time for them to have breakfast or they feel for eating.

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Astronaut hair also floating while she explains about the space station
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Packets of dehydrated food for astronauts onboard the space station

“ These kind of things we never get to see when we were in school back in the old days. We only read about them in books, and leave everything to our imagination to visualize how it is in outer space. It’s amazing how kids, even elder people like me, now have access to information to learn more about life onboard the space station,” recounted Grandma Glasses.

“ I remember when I was in grade school  we were asked to write about how future life will be in 10 to 20 years. Imagine forty years ago, I wrote that cars will have wheels suspending above the road so you can avoid traffic. It was very animated and unbelievable back then. But now we have electric cars, levitation trains, and self-driving cars, ” she chuckled as she continues.

With a slightly high pitched voice, she sputtered her disbelief. ” I read about the  Japanese Skydrive from Cartivator. It’s a flying car with a vertical takeoff and landing technology which do not need roads and runways to lift off. That’s the closest cousin of my young idea, and I was not even thinking about being a scientist.”

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photo credits Cartivator Skydrive

“That’s a real futuristic spinoff  from Fred Flinstones’ footmobile, the Jetson’s flying car, Knight Rider’s KITT , the Batmobile, and James Bond’s cars.”

 

She lowered her head and turned to me. “Now it’s time to ask yourself. How do you think the future would be, ten to twenty years from now?”

With a soft whine, I thought about the famous Soviet Canine Cosmonauts Belka and Strelka, and the not so lucky Laica.

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I glanced at her from the corner of my eye. I tried not to move, trying to ignore her question. But she stared back at me, expecting an answer.

“Enough of advancing science. The loyal and obedient dog was out in space even before man took his first historical step on the moon,” wagging my tail, I hunkered down and sighed.

“And I’m glad laws have been provided to protect the rights of animals,” she gave me a gentle pat on my nose.

“And I cannot imagine myself enjoying gel capsules in my dinner bowl, more so being sent to float in outer space. I’m happy to be on the ground.” I wiggled my nose, trying to sniff history from the air.

 

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Cassini Crossing

Space History : Cassini’s successful dive through Saturn’s first ring

“And it’s amazing! I’m lost for words. Never imagined I will see this in my lifetime.” -Grandma Glasses

 

Grandma Glasses Eyes on Cassini

These are a few of my favorite things..  “We interrupt your daily crochet program with an update from Cassini Mission to Saturn.”

It’s awesome.. this is better than sci-fi movies and techy games combined. Last night I downloaded NASA Eye to follow Cassini Mission to Saturn. And it’s just awesome. Years ago, photos from outerspace were made available to the public on the internet from the Hubble or space station. Now we can use an app to follow outerspace missions which were unimaginable during my younger days in science class. I remember reading about rings around Saturn. Twenty years ago (or something like that) from science books, we read about Saturn and only see still images about this planet. I can’t remember reading about its moons either.

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Now with advances in technology and combined efforts of great men of science, the public can now follow outerspace missions like Cassini, Juno, Rosetta asteroid landings and showers, star births and bursts and all the great wonders of other galaxies.  Aside from the high specs of my phone, my computer  and my internet, all these are now possible to connect and view from my own home or office. I don’t even have to own a super telescope.

The Earth has experienced too much violence, damage and change in its billion years of existence. And to know that out there in the vast outerspace, other planets and galaxies are still orbiting  unexplored makes me wonder even more.. How far can man be in outerspace? How much genius of men will it take to discover new things outside of our universe? It will take a billion years of our lifetime ..Until then, I will just enjoy these little outerspace toys man has made possible for humankind to appreciate and witness the wonders of outerspace.

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With NASA’s Eye app, I can interactively follow the mission. I can adjust speed to go either fast or slow, zoom in closer to Saturn or its moon, or on Cassini orbit or just flip around and view the whole Saturn system from any angle. AS of writing, the Cassini has 23 remaining orbits, and starting April 22 until its Grand Finale where it will be diving Saturn’s rings to collect information about Saturn. And after Cassini’s final transmission of its observations, 19 years and 11 months after launching from Earth, Cassini will burn up in Saturn’s upper atmosphere, becoming part of the planet itself.. and another outerspace history for mankind.

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