Space…the final frontier!…..
July 20th, 2013 Time: -3 on GMT
Happy 44th anniversary of the first walk on the moon! It was 44 years ago today that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took that first step.
We were indeed able to get in to the Space Center tour yesterday. Despite the long waiting list, only three of us showed up for it, so we got in.
The limitation is due to the fact that they use two large busses. So, the number of seats is the limiting factor. The entire tour is in French, but for the most part I got the details. Our other \”wait lister\” spoke enough English to help out.
The facility is quite large and we were shown the buildings where the satellites are prepared to be installed on the rockets. There are three active programs here.
The Ariene 5 is strictly speaking a French affair and is the largest. Next down in size is the Russian technology (licensed by the Space Center) for the Soyuz launcher. Smallest is the Italian Vega. The Vega is mostly used for military launches if I heard correctly. Earth watching stuff with high resolution cameras.
The Soyuz is the most cost effective for commercial satellite industry and as such, the Ariene SIX is being developed. It will be smaller, very powerful and more fuel efficient. We also got to visit \”Mission Control\” in two different buildings. We could watch software being uploaded and checked. All in all quite interesting.
The next launch will be Thursday, July 25th in the late afternoon here. It can be watched LIVE on the internet. If interested, Google Korou Space Center and you\’ll find the link.
The Museum was also quite nice and fortunately the signage was also in English! There is a nice display on the history of the first lunar landing and the early space race between the Soviet Union and the USA.
We left the Korou river at low tide this morning and saw water less than 5 feet under the hulls. Glad we\’ve a catamaran with daggerboards. That way, Miss Piggy can hike up her skirts a bit to get through the shallow stuff….:-)
We again passed the Illes Salut (Salvation Islands) where the infamous Devil\’s Island is. Unfortunately, the refurbishments are just underway and there needs to be guides, not just \”self guided\” tours. I suspect in French, the tourists may get more of that? There does seem to be a small hotel/hostel on Ille Royal. We saw some peacocks; one male in full display. I\’ll post the photos when I get internet, most likely in Trinidad.
It\’s an over nighter to Paramaribo, Suriname, we should be there around mid day tomorrow.
Scott and Nikki