mission control

Completing a dream: the first Round-the-World solar flight in history

We have now just watched our shared dream unveil, becoming a reality. It’s with great emotion that I write this last blog to report on the Round-the-World solar flights. Emotions, tears, relief, exhilaration is what we are all feeling right now after completing the first Round-the-World solar flight in history.

Bertrand Piccard made one last smooth landing, kissing the warm tarmac with his solar airplane after a 48 hour and 37 minute flight in Al Bateen Executive Airport, Abu Dhabi. He took off from Cairo, Egypt at 11:28PM UTC, 7:28PM EDT on July 23rd / 1:28AM CEST on July 24th and landed in Abu Dhabi at 12:05AM UTC, 2:05AM CEST on July 26th / 8:05PM EDT on July 25th. The solar airplane has now successfully made it full circle around the world, proving that clean technologies can really achieve the impossible.

The Mission Control Center in Monaco exploded with relief (and perhaps a little grief), as if the 13 years of weight on everyone’s shoulders had just evaporated.

This flight represents the most incredible wrap-up of this adventure. With André Borschberg joining his engineers one last time at the Mission Control Center in Monaco for the first half of the flight and Bertrand Piccard piloting the revolutionary solar airplane to the finish line.Inflight discussions were rich with passion and depth. Bertrand exchanged ideas with the dedicated UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the passionate Christiana Figueres (former Executive Secretary of UNFCCC), the adventurer David de Rothschild, the newly appointed Patricia Espinosa (current Executive Secretary of UNFCCC), the Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann, famous R&B artist Akon, and the charming actress Marion Cotillard - sharing this achievement with them.

Completing a 13-year exploit is perhaps the biggest challenge we now face. But as always, there are new adventures to come. And for the Solar Impulse team, there definitely will be a new dream seeking to be achieved.

And you might be asking what’s next? Surely dreams only grow with time. Now that both pilots have made it through this journey, surely there is more to come. Find out what’s next for Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg.

BREAKING: we flew 40'000km without fuel. It’s a first for energy, take it further! #futureisclean pic.twitter.com/JCvKTDBVZx

— SOLAR IMPULSE (@solarimpulse)

July 26, 2016

“You have flown 40K km w/o fuel. But you have much energy!” - Ban Ki-moon to @SolarImpulse https://t.co/I4i90mOA4A pic.twitter.com/H83Kneb6cW

— United Nations (@UN)

July 25, 2016

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The original control room at Johnson Space Center was in use from the facility’s opening in 1965 to 1992. Every U.S. manned space mission was monitored and controlled from this room, including six Apollo lunar landing missions

By 1992, technology was advancing so rapidly that the facility could no longer be kept up to date. A new Mission Operations Control Room was opened in 1992 and is still in use to this day.

January 8, 2016.

Krysten Ritter is likely Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Part of Netflix’s deal for four Marvel series focusing on members of The Defenders—a group that also includes Daredevil and Iron FistJessica Jones concerns a former superhero whose powers have brought her nothing but trouble, even more than that suffered by most superheroes. So instead, she opens a detective agency tasked with assisting superheroes. In other words, it is essentially a remake of Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23, only this b—- is a lawyer, she’s actually in a detective agency, and you should trust her.

Full story at avclub.com

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     Here, we have Mercury Control Center, or what we would refer to as “Mission Control” today. This center was active from 1961 to 1965, located at Cape Canaveral Florida, in a building near Launch Complex 14, where the later Mercury flew from. Once NASA’s needs outgrew this facility, all subsequent Mission Control centers were located at Johnson Space Center in Huston, Texas.

     The second photo in the set shows the Flight Director’s console, where Christopher Kraft managed every Mercury flight, and the first Gemini mission. Just as every succeeding NASA flight director, Kraft’s job description was simple - to ensure crew safety, and mission success, in that order of priority. Luckily, Kraft was able to prioritize. His team flew seven individuals into the uncharted territory of space from this room, and they all made it back in one piece.

     I’ve often read about the extreme tension the men in this room felt as they prepared for Alan Shepard’s first American space flight, or as they watched Gus Grissom nearly drown in the ocean during the post-flight recovery efforts while his spacecraft was sinking. Of course, this room has seen great celebration associated with America’s first manned space flight, or John Glenn’s first American orbital flight. If these walls could talk, I’d listen all day.

youtube.com
Launch of Apollo 13 (CBS)
The launch of Apollo 13 - This is the CBS coverage of the event.

April 11, 1970 marked the start of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission.  The mission to land and work on the moon was a failure due to the explosion aboard the spacecraft.  However, the teamwork and leadership exhibited by the astronauts and the team working in mission control was a phenomenal success.  When teams work together, everything is possible. The successful return of the crew is still taught and studied as a textbook example of leadership and working together.  

Enjoy the video of the launch of the Saturn V to start the mission.