"Hubble@25: Rewriting History Yet Unwritten" at The City Club
We started the week off on Monday, March 30th, by going to the City Club for a breakfast program titled "Hubble@25 Rewriting History Yet Unwritten" in which two very articulate speakers spoke about how the Hubble Space Telescope came to exist, what it takes to maintain it, what it has shown us so far, and its future potential. The speakers were Mr. James M. Free, Director of the NASA Glenn Research Center and Col Michael T. Good, NASA astronaut who took part in the 2009 maintenance mission for the telescope. Mr. Free said that because of the Hubble Space Telescope we have a better understanding of the birth of the universe and those bodies closest to us thus it has met its expectations and then some. Col. Good said that the telescope was created with servicing in mind and there have been about five such missions since the telescope was first launched in 1990 thus making it 25 years old. Col. Good was very poignant as he talked about the sunrises and sunsets that he had witnessed from outer space calling them the "the amazing glory of God's creation." Both speakers seemed to be very optimistic that the Hubble Space Telescope will be around for more years, and that the James Webb Telescope, which is being constructed at the present time, will be even more amazing. Also attending this program were quite a few people from both NASA Glenn and the Ohio Aerospace Institute. We learned that due to security reasons NASA Glenn employs few foreign nationals but the Ohio Aerospace Institute has worked with people who have come here temporarily from such countries as Japan and Iran. Along these lines, we spoke to an instructor from Shaw High School who knows of a young student from Zambia who would like to remain in the United States so we exchanged contact information as we did with representatives from two hardware/engineering firms who do business with companies all over the world. We had a good time sitting with Ms. Fran Buchholzer of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and enjoyed meeting Mr. Terry Smith who used to work at WVIZ where he did some collaborations with Ms. Margaret W. Wong. Mr. Smith is now the VP of Finance at the Ohio Aerospace Institute and we took down his information so that he will be invited to our next holiday party. Before we came to this event, we knew very little about NASA Glenn and the space program in general so we were pleasantly surprised to learn that what goes on is very much a collaboration with the Euro Space Agency. We were even more surprised to learn that, due to budgetary restrictions, the recent manned space station launches have taken place at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which is leased to Russia until 2050, and is located in Kazakhstan! It comforts us to know that despite the turmoil going on in the world these days, countries are sometimes able to lay aside their difference and work together on projects that benefit us all. We must not forget that many of the things we use every day like cushiony shoes, mattresses made from memory foam, freeze dried foods, invisible braces, and cordless power tools all originated at NASA.