There was one minor problem with the tweetup this morning: no wifi. Like I said, a minor problem, and served mainly to make me feel guilty for not live-tweeting (which is one of your first-world-ier problems).
Other than that, everything went off without a hitch. The elementary school kids got to launch rockets after a countdown to introduce the crew of STS-134 (well, 4/6ths of the crew). It was kind of painfully adorable. More so when they got to ask questions (and especially when one girl prefaced her question by telling Mark Kelly that she was glad his wife was doing well).
These tires were right in front of us — there were others in the center of the stage and on the far left side. They actually flew in space — and I realize they’re tires, but it’s still cool. So many people were taking their picture next to the tires. I was very much tempted to put my feet up on them (the tires, not the people), but I didn’t.
And here is my free stuff from the wonderful wonderful wonderful California Science Center! The keychain is now enjoying pride of place next to my Darwin keychain from London — and the tiny not-necessarily-reliable compass will be invaluable to future rooftop stargazing.
So thanks again, CA Science Center, for the awesome morning, and best of luck on your journey to establish Endeavour here in Los Angeles. Hope I can make it back to town for the parade, whenever it happens! And I hope some of the students who were there today do become astronauts — of course, when they were asked who wanted to be an astronaut, all of them (around 7 or 8 years old, I think?) raised their hands, which reminded me of the scene from The Right Stuff where the Mercury Seven are asked who will be the first man in space, and all of them raise their hands, but John Glenn raises both hands.
Speaking of which, I didn’t use my free IMAX pass today — I did have class to go to and laundry to do, after all. I’m thinking maybe Friday, because Friday, after all, is the 64th anniversary of the breaking of the sound barrier, which certainly deserves some sort of science-y celebration.