2015 Trip to San Diego and KSC

Two trips in the Spring of 2015

In the Spring of 2015, we visited Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, CA.

airplane view
View over the Rocky Mountain range covered by snow.

ferry at san diego pier
We arrived in San Diego and rode the ferry over to Coronado Island.

arrival at coronado
Arrival at the island.

There were all kinds of trees blooming due to the Spring season.

Once we go to the island, we took the 409 bus across the island.

The bus took us all the way to the beach on the Pacific Ocean.  We waded into the surf and the water was super cold!  There were also gold flecks in the sand.  Probably Pyrite, but real beautiful.

Coronado Hotel
We visited the Coronado Hotel on the water.  One of the oldest in America made of wood.

It is the site of the Monroe film "Some like it hot".

The beautiful lobby with wood visible and the working cast iron elevator.

coronado hotel front
At the front of the hotel.

La Jolla Cove
We then drove north the hotel and visited La Jolla Cove.  There were harbor seals very close on the beach.

La Jolla Harbor Seals

Brocton Villa
Dinner with the setting Sun over the Pacific at the Brockton Villa.
We had the famous Coast Toast dessert afterwards.

Malin Space Systems
The next morning, the purpoase of the trip.

We are contracting them for the next generation camera for our group.  This is how it will look like.

curiosity rover
Malin made the cameras that work on the Mars Rovers, such as Curiosity.

at Puesto
That night we had dinner at Puesto's in La Jolla.

Sunset in La Jolla
View of our last night there at Sunset.  The bright star at the top was Jupiter.  Super bright.

Balboa Park
The next day, before departure, we visited Balboa Park.

balboa park
It is a beautiful place with many gardens.

balboa park
It was a great trip, and we will return one day.

Hubble 25th Anniversary
April 24, 2015

Hubble celebrates its 25th birthday in space, and we had many exciting activities to celebrate it.

The main event was a reception organized at the National Air & Space Museum (NASM).  I heard later about 3000 people were invited.

nova screening
PBS' NOVA program prepared a special edition to commemorate the event, and they
had a special viewing for the Hubble team on April 22, 2015.

Hubble old timers
These are three of the senior team members attending the preview.  From left to right: Larry Dunham, Joe Ryan, and Uncle Art.  All together more than 100 years of combined Hubble experience.

KSC announcement
A few weeks before the celebrations, I was invited to speak at the Kennedy Space Center, that meant we would miss the big event at the NASM.  However, I thought the honor was so great that it would be well worth it.

We travelled to Orlando and decided to walk around a Disney area we have not seen before: Disney Boardwalk.  This is the Boardwalk Hotel's lobby.

pano of disney boardwalk
The expansive and beautiful pool side.

downtown disney dance
That night we danced at the Downtown Disney stage.  It was a lot of fun with the DJ leading the audience.

atlantis at visitor center
The next day we visited the KSC Visitor's Center.  The Atlantis display is finally together, and it is really amazing and impressive.  

hubble at visitor center
There is also a full size Hubble Display and we brought our 25th anniversary matching jackets for a photo op.

location of ARUBA box
Agnes showing the location of the ARUBA box.  Which is prominently visible.

vab and speaker announcement
I had a meeting on base so I brought the program for a unique photo at the VAB.

astronaut encounter
My talk was at the Astronaut Encounter Theater at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center.

during talk
I spoke two days for one hour each, and it was well received with many great questions.

cuba libre orlando
We ended our stay at the Cuba Libre dance club.  It is very beautiful with three dance floors.  Salsa (outside), Merengue/Bachatta (main floor inside), and Top40 (small upstairs dance floor).

cuba libre club
The main dance floor at Cuba Libre is two story tall and the whole place is decorated like a small town square.

We had a great time, and will probably be invited back to speak at KSC.  
I look forward to it.

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