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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Orion Capsule at NASA TweetUP

 NASA Tweetup was an absolute dream come true for me. The treatment NASA gave me and the other tweeps was outstanding. Not only did they put us up in an air conditioned tent (lovingly dubbed "the twent") but they us an amazing VIP tour of the campus, launch pad, vertical assembly building (VAB) and the Saturn V rocket!
Amazingly enough the twent was placed right between the a/c tent's for Lockheed and Boeing!

I wandered into the Lockheed tent and to my astonishment found myself standing in front of an Orion capsule. Lockheed's Orion will ferry people to the Moon and other worlds, like Mars, if we can continue to support our space program. I couldn't believe an actual piece of Constellation was sitting in front of me. I had worked on the Constellation Evaluation and Refinement program when I interned at MIT back in 2005. Orion and the two Ares were the work horses of the Constellation mission. When Constellation was scrubbed Lockheed managed to save their Orion capsule. I couldn't believe my luck! Not only had I gotten into the final 150 of Tweeps (Tweet up attendees) to STS-135 - the final shuttle launch, but here I was, standing in front of a part of my past, and intertwining with my nation's and my own future. I was able to peak in through the open hatch and look into the interior. I found an I-beam signed by the working team, and there were other parts the team signed. That was a really great surprise! I wish the docking simulator had been on - I would have loved to give that a whirl!
Please, have a look at the images below. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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