July 12th, 2005

galaxy, space

Crew of Discovery

Meet the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery.

Discovery is scheduled for lift-off tomorrow. It will be the first shuttle mission since the Columbia crash on February 1, 2003.

"Besides their individual stories, each crewmember also brings their own responsibilities and skill-set to the mission. As taxing as the flight will be physically and mentally, the greatest burden -- for the astronauts and their families -- may be psychological, as they lift off knowing that the most recent shuttle crew didn't return alive.

'There [are] going to be times up in orbit that we're going to think about it, and especially the Columbia crew and families,' said James Kelly, pilot of the Discovery mission.

'Until our wheels [hit] down, that heightened level of awareness for our families and the people around us is going to be the same as it is for the ascent. There are going to be a lot of fingernails bitten off.'

...Columbia's demise made crystal clear the perils of space travel. But even with that tragedy fresh in their minds, the Discovery crew nonetheless is raring to go."

Harry Potter & The Half-Crazed Reader

Juannie and I may need to bust out a timer - like this family - so we don't fight over Half-Blood Prince once I pick it up on Saturday afternoon. Saturday afternoon? Yes, I must wait until after the baby shower is over to pick up my longed for copy of the book.

My original plan once I got my paws on it was to read like a mental patient for the rest of the weekend. With any luck, I could possibly finish the book before I had to go to work on Monday morning. But another family event has now been scheduled for Sunday afternoon and it would be too rude, even for an obsessive reader like me, to ignore family members and read the whole time.

I will be jonesing for Harry all weekend. I will be distracted during conversations with aunts, uncles and cousins. I will be counting the minutes until I can return to the book. Juannie might just have to buy his own copy.