July 2, 2015

BE photograph of the space shuttle Endeavour as displayed at the California Science Center.

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

“Space…the final frontier.” With those words Star Trek, the original series, began in 1966.  It was, of course, science fiction and eventually launched several other series and a cult of followers, who are referred to as “Trekkies”.  There is a documentary that bears the same name.

The above photograph is of the space shuttle Endeavour, which was retired several years ago and now resides at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.  Having grown up with Star Trek, I have always been fascinated by, and in not a little bit of awe of, the actual ships, astronauts, and scientists that participated in so much of the creation of science fact.  Being able to see Endeavour is especially poignant given that both Challenger and Columbia and their respective crews were lost to explosions-the former at liftoff, the latter during re-entry. (As an aside, the Challenger disaster is one of the most-often cited examples of groupthink-the extreme pressure that is brought to bear in the support of an unwise decision. Endeavor replaced Challenger.)

Endeavour also played a significant role in the rehabilitation of the Hubble telescope, as documented in the IMAX movie Hubble.  The photographic imagery created by Hubble is just simply stunning and the beauty of deep space is quite overwhelming when seen in the IMAX format.  (Please do visit the Hubble link as there are also important connections between Hubble, Challenger, and Columbia.) The quality of the photography becomes a more significant issue given the technology and effort it took to make the necessary repairs to Hubble’s flawed mirror.  Hubble is worth seeing.  Being able to exit the theatre, turn a corner, and then walk around Endeavour was deeply exciting to the child who lives in this adult.

Take care.

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