Sunday, March 15, 2009

Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-119)

Space Shuttle Discovery (STS 119) launched on March 15, 2009 at 7:43 pm. I drove out to Titusville, FL to watch the launch, and it is very nice to be able to hear the noise that the shuttle makes.
STS 119
Shuttle View
As it got darker, the contrail left by the shuttle started glowing with wonderful colors from the setting sun. Of course, these could have something to do with all of the nasty chemicals that the shuttle spews out in that smoke refracting the light, but it was still nice to look at. In contrast with Titusville's older buildings, this could have provided some great pictures, but I'm not entirely happy with how they came out.
Dangerous Chemicals
Victorian House and Shuttle
Discovery & Church
Here's a video of the launch.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cady Way Trail's Tied Arch Bridge

Cady Way Trail Bridge

I've been meaning to go bike riding along the Cady Way Trail for a while now, specifically over the bridge crossing 436, but it seems I never have my bicycle when I'm in the area. Recently, I was riding along Colonial Drive and happened to have a unicycle in the car, so I decided to see how far I could get before dark. I started at Fashion Square Mall, not quite knowing exactly where the trail traveled. I eventually made it to the bridge and made it my turn around point. It ended up being my longest ride ever on a unicycle (just over 8 miles), but I had fun!

The bridge over 436 is a basket-handle tied arch bridge. This basically means it's and arch with the roadway suspended by vertical cables. It's a very nice looking bridge that I would rate near the top of my favorite Central Florida pedestrian bridges.
Cady Way Trail Bridge
Here's some of the strangely fascinating engineering details of the bridge...
Cady Way Trail Bridge
Cady Way Trail Bridge
And the view of the car dealers and fast food restaurants below on 436:
Cady Way Trail Bridge
I need to come back with a bicycle and ride along the rest of the trail. From what I saw of Cady Way, it's nowhere as nice as Seminole County's trails, but it's still an interesting ride.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kepler Telescope Launch on a Delta II Rocket

The Kepler Telescope launched on a Delta II rocket at 10:49 pm on March 7, 2009. Kepler sounds like a very interesting project, and lets hope it finds plenty of earth-like planets. You can read more about it on NASA's website.

I think I'll go turn on my SETI@home software now and leave you with these two fifteen second exposures of the launch:
Delta II Kepler Telescope Launch #1
Delta II Kepler Telescope Launch #2