It was a busy week last week with finals Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a board certification, press conference, visit to Red Square and a meeting with the head of the Russian Space Agency. “Rest week” starts today so now we get to have a little time off before going to Baikanor on the 2nd of July. Quarantine will start then, so I am lucky to be able to spend this week with my mom. We have already started “resting”, so now mom knows what the banya is, what salmon shashlik tastes like and she is pretty well versed in the Moscow Metro…in other words, we are having fun!
1) So, I was asked when is launch exactly! Sorry, it has been sort of the focus of my life for the last couple years so I forget everyone doesn’t know all these details. Launch is 15 July 2012 at around 0835 am Kazakhstan time. Kazakhstan time is 10 hours earlier than Eastern Standard time. So, launch is 14 July 2012 at around 1035 pm Eastern Standard time.
2) Some folks have also asked if the launch date/time is pretty realistic. The answer is YES. 99% of the time the Soyuz has launched on time. The Soyuz and the Soyuz rocket do not have the same weather constraints that the shuttle had. Remember, this vehicle is a capsule that lands under a parachute. It does not need a runway or weather to see to land at runways around the world like the shuttle did.
So, it is a pretty safe bet that the Soyuz rocket will launch on time. Knowing that, we have arranged two launch “parties” for folks to go. One will be in Massachusetts and one will be in Ohio. If you are in the area, please come and watch. Astronauts Mike Foreman and Dan Burbank, two of my good friends from Johnson Space Center, will do the narrating, explaining what is going on in Kazakhstan on launch day and during the launch. A huge thanks to the folks in the CC line who supported this idea of launch parties in the US and made it happen!!!! Thank you!!!!
The details (when, where) and RSVP numbers are in the attached flyers. If you know folks who aren’t on the email list and who might be interested in going, please share the details. The more the merrier!!!
Thanks for your support, s