Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
OFF EARTH: Today, three men left Earth, and two of them aren't coming back for a long spell.
Shortly after 12:40 p.m. Seattle time, a Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft launched with NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
We watched pre-launch coverage on NASA TV, which included lots of interviews with crew members and information about the mission. We watched the men suit up and head for their vehicle. I always love listening to the music played by the Cosmodrome "DJ" as these pre-flight events are going on. Today, in addition to traditional Russian music, I heard The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun." An interesting mix, as it always is.
Kelly and Kornienko will be on station for nearly an entire year. NASA is producing a new series of videos called "Space Station Stories." The first one profiles the crew who will be long term ISS residents.
MEANWHILE, ON EARTH: Business as usual down here. The kids had their film making class this afternoon, and the skies were blue once again.
Speaking of Earth, tomorrow is the annual Earth Hour event. Millions all over the world will
turn their lights off at 8:30 p.m., in a symbolic gesture demonstrating how we all need to do our part to conserve energy and raise awareness about climate change and what we can do about it. More information and updates about Earth Hour events 'round the world can be found here: www.earthhour.org/live.
Here's a short video about the event
BIG NEWS: MPA will be "in the house" at the NASA Social in conjunction with the upcoming Space X launch of a resupply mission to the International Space Station on April 10. A couple weeks back, when I saw an announcement about the opportunity, I pestered Christian to apply for social media credentials for the launch, and as he was filling out the online app, I told him he was going to get chosen.
I love it when I'm right. :)
After the launch, SpaceX will (once again) be attempting to land the first stage of their rocket on a barge in the Atlantic. Hopefully Christian will be there to cover history being made! Fingers crossed the launch goes off on schedule. ...