If you are following me on Twitter, you know that the only thing I tweet about as much as crafting is .... Space. That's right, I'm a complete and total Space Geek.
My fascination with Space and Space travel started when I was about 11 years old. I'd always been interested in Outer Space and astronauts, but it was specifically the Challenger tragedy that spurred me into declaring I wanted to be an astronaut myself. I still remember sitting in my 5th grade class and seeing the teacher from the next classroom over come in and start whispering grimly to our teacher. I heard things like "shuttle" and "explosion" and had an immediate lump in my stomach. As I continued to follow the story and learn more about the astronauts on the Challenger's crew, I developed a deep appreciation for the brave pioneers who were willing to risk their lives in the name of science.
A year later, I went to Space Camp. (I have to thank my parents profusely here for being willing and able to send me) It was an amazing experience, that differed just a smidge from the classic 1986 movie - which I have almost memorized and adore. I learned loads, made great friends and ate french fries shaped like Space Shuttles. I bounced around in a 1/6 chair and got to feel what it would be like to walk on the moon. It was amazing.
My love for Space has continued my entire life, and has recently been infiltrating my tweets, especially during the last Shuttle mission back in May. I was able to sit in my office and work while I streamed live video of the astronauts' space walks and their repairs of the Hubble telescope.
Surely I'm not the only one amazed by this, right?
I mean ... HELLO! Live video streaming from hundreds of miles above us - astronauts chatting (and so politely!) - dear ole Hubble ... this is amazing stuff, folks!
I was watching the shuttle launch (actually, scrubbed due to weather issues, crossing fingers for tonight) last night, and couldn't believe that no one else in my family wanted to watch with me. I gasped as the astronauts disembarked the orbiter (some even giving a wave and a thumbs up to the little camera positioned in the white room just outside the orbiter's hatch) and said, "Look! It's the astronauts! They're getting off the orbiter! Check out their suits! Their helmets! Look at the guys helping them!" Apparently, it wasn't enough to pull the kids from watching iCarly.
My husband looked at me and said, "You are such a dork."
Now, I know he wasn't being mean and I've never been one to hide my nerd badge, but come on! We are blasting humans in to space. They are hooking up with the International Space Station. There will be Space walks ... in SPACE. All of it real and there for us to watch and admire. Teams of people, working hard, using their insanely smart brains and making all these amazing things happen ... up in SPACE!
How is this dorky? How is this not the most awesome thing we can experience? Why isn't everyone excited and interested and fired up about it?
I have a theory: we've (mostly) lost touch with the 11-year-old inside of us.
Nothing brings me back to that excited, full of wonder and awe self like Space. When I watched astronaut Mike Massimino take the coolest space tools ever to Hubble, I was instantly transported back to 1986. I was giddy and excited and interested and in complete awe. Being able to follow Massimino on Twitter (and the numerous other NASA twitter feeds) allowed me to feel like I was along for the ride and left me feeling completey inspired.
So here's where my love of Space and my love of crafting coincide: Inspiration, wonder, awe, excitement, and tapping back in to that carefree feeling I had when I was a kid. They actually both evoke very similar emotions for me.
Aren't we all looking for inspiration? Don't we all want something that leaves us breathless and happy and excited to see what the future will be? Am I a dork for thinking that things like Space travel and crafting can bring that feeling to others? I'm ok with that.
Give yourself some time tonight to watch the launch. Follow NASA on Twitter, follow the astronauts on Twitter. If you have kids, get them to watch, too. Maybe you can make something while you watch. Open yourself up to the possibility of being completely inspired.
Or ... just go ahead thinking I'm a dork
10 Ways to get involved with NASA
Space Flight Now - up-to-date information on launch and video
SpaceVidCast - another place to watch - it's in HD and has a couple who do commentary during the launch prep. There's also a chat room. You might see me in there under avgjanecrafter
NASA TV - you can watch online, but there's a bit of a delay behind the first two sites listed here. If you have staellite tv, you can catch it there.
NASA on Twitter
Astronaut Mike Massimino on Twitter
Astronaut and Commander of the current mission, Mike Pollansky