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Moondust and red clay

August 5, 2012

Hank Green made this SciShow video about the Curiosity Rover Landing on Mars. Just watch it, because it’s really cool.

 

It reminded me of our visit to the Air and Space Museum in San Diego where we saw, among many other awesome things, the command module for the Apollo 9  space mission, called “Gumdrop”. It was so weird to try to wrap your little mind around the fact that this thing had orbited the earth, had been in space and come back. The blackening and burn marks are from atmospheric re-entry. Someone sat in this thing, and was in space. And the things they did made it possible for an actual human to walk on the actual moon. (Apollo 9 was the first test of the complete Apollo spacecraft; you can read more about it here.)

Even harder for my little brain to take in: Actual moon matter. This is part of the moon. It was up there, ten years before I was born, and now it’s here, just inches of glass and air away. There’s something so… vast, about the very idea.

I have so many pictures from the museum, of Lindbergh goggles and insane collections of handbuilt models and daredevil women who did tricks on top of flying scrap heaps and me with foam wings in a wind tunnel. I’m lucky that I married someone just as geeky as I am, who had just as much fun — we spent the better part of a day there, probably.

The landing will be around seven thirty in the morning here. I think I’ll get up and follow it with my knitting and morning tea. And try to wrap my tiny little brain around it.

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