Friday, August 29, 2014

Welcome to 17,500 MPH

Welcome to Orbital Velocity, a blog that will chronicle the history of the International Space Station (ISS). My name is Derek Richardson, a 25 year old Kansan space geek. I'm currently studying Mass Media at Washburn University in order learn ways to help spread my passion for space.

I have been a certified space geek since 1998, and I grew up watching space station construction missions on NASA TV. Yes, I watched NASA TV, and it is as dry as you think. There are some interesting programs on the channel, but in general, its pretty bad. But, when there was mission, such as a space shuttle launch to the ISS, then was pure, raw excitement. There was basic commentary from the Public Affairs Officer in the background, but in general, you got views of the earth, with people doing work in micro-gravity.

Credit: NASA
My initial goal for this blog is to create a basic history template for ISS. This will include early space stations and concepts, to construction milestones, politics, and the future. There's a lot that most people don't know about that football field sized orbital complex. The first modules have been in orbit for over 15 years. Crews have occupied the station, without a gap, since November 2, 2000: The longest continuous human presence in space. Is it worth it? In order to make that assessment, you have to have an understanding of how it came to be, why it came to be, and what it has accomplished. There is more to ISS than just science, and shuttle construction missions.

Continue reading over the next couple months; I plan to post an ISS history topic at least once per week. Occasionally, I'll post something relating to current news of ISS, for example, in September, three of the six crew will return to earth. The three remaining on ISS will start the 41st expedition on the station.

Until then, keep looking towards the stars, and dare to dream above the atmosphere!