blast off!

Before I had a three year old son in my life, I paid very little attention to NASA and its mission of working on the International Space Station.  Aside from the Challenger, the movie “Space Camp,” and having to make the planet Jupiter in seventh grade, outer space has not really been on my radar.

That, however, has all changed.  I have to admit that I now eagerly read news of each space shuttle mission, and I’ve been known to angst about what NASA will do when it retires the space shuttle fleet in 2010.  Tonight’s launch of Discovery is doubly exciting for me–not only can we watch the launch on the highly entertaining NASA channel, but this mission is incorporating two of my son’s favorite things:  solar panels and pee.  The last set of solar panels is nestled in the cargo bay and the astronauts are to replace a device that according to the Christian Science Monitor “is designed to convert wastewater into drinking water.”  Around our home, we like to call it the “pee machine.”

Maybe it’s all of the youtube videos of launches that I’ve watched, but I’m quite excited for 9:20 pm to roll around tonight.

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