Mir coming back home

The Mir space station is due to be brought back to Earth some time tomorrow. Ever since it’s launch, I have had a facination with Mir. Throughout the history of the space race, the russians have always been the first to do most things including having the first satellite in orbit, the first living thing in space, the first man in space, the first landing on the moon, and the first landing on another planet. Mir was the first permanent platform in space, and despite all the publicity about the accidents it had it is still one of the greatest engineering feats of all time.

I am truly blessed to be living in this day and age where I can see historical events live, either on TV or on the Internet. For the last few days I have been watching the construction of the new International Space Station by the crew of STS-102. NASA-TV has been broadcasting images and sound from Mission Control as well as from the Space Shuttle and the Space Station itself. I have been watching it during breaks at work.

I hope that I can see man landing on Mars soon, though I doubt that it will happen in my lifetime. The cost would be just too prohibitive. But I can still live in hope.

Have aliens landed?

So someone threw a flare onto our roof yesterday morning. That’s right, a full on emergency parachute flare. We didn’t know what it was at the time, but when you hear a large thud on the roof, and see a glowing light coming in through the windows a lot goes through your mind. Actually, the first thought I had was “I’m too tired to get up”, and then came “I feel a little guilty because Suzanne got up and I am still laying here”. But just before I dozed off again a voice seemed to ask in a most reasonable way, “Have aliens come to take us away?”

I checked it out after breakfast. There was a 30cm long black streak on the roof where the flare had laid and burned away. After work I got up on the roof for a closer inspection. The flare had landed near the edge of one of the sheets of our metal roof and had burned so intensely that it had bucked the metal and produced a gap between that sheet and the next one. It would let rain in if I left it.

I made a report to the police, and to the insurance company who said it was ok to patch it so that no more damage would happen. I patched it with some silicone resin which should be alright temporarily.

But what a pain in the ass! I bet it was some local kids playing around. We’ve seen them a few times accross the road in the park letting off fireworks. If I see them again I’ll call the cops on them. Maybe I’ll beat them first.