Friday, 26 October 2007

Museum of Flight

The last night of the EDUCAUSE conference is always a party somewhere - we've boogied in Universal Studios, line danced in Nashville and raced armadillos in Dallas. This year it was the Museum of Flight's turn - a huge place with lots of aeroplanes in! The guys I was with even knew what sort of planes they were - I could distinguish blue ones, yellow ones, ones with propellors, and ones which appeared to have no means of propulsion whatsoever. I even got to sit in the cockpit of one - there's not a lot of room and the view is appalling.

My favourite section was space - I'm fascinated by space travel, especially the Apollo missions. It was great to see an Apollo Command module and a lunar buggy. The computers in the Apollo spacecraft didn't have enough processing power to add two numbers together - most digital watches have more - and yet they got men to the moon, and more importantly, back. A friend bought Gene Kranz's book, "Failure is not an Option". He was flight director for many of the Apollo missons, including Apollo 11 which put men on the moon, and Apollo 13 which so nearly left 3 men up there. "Failure is not an option" is what he said to his team when the enormity of what had happened on Apollo 13 became apparent. A inspiring man. I wish I'd bought it, but it isn't long until Christmas if anyone reading this is wondering what to buy me...

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