Expedition 9

Expedition 9 PatchSo this is the design of the patch for expedition 9 to the International Space Station. It’s a pretty busy patch, but before I find a web page explaining it, I will try and interpret the symbols.

Clearly, the title bar says Expedition 9. Below that are the main graphics which include the Soyuz launch vehicle which will get the crew there, and an eagle and flags which together form a cross. Together, the Soyuz and the eagle/flag cross for a Roman Numeral IX, or 9.

To the right of the Soyuz s a depiction of the Earth, Moon, Mars and the stars which represents a progression of achievement in spaceflight.

The Space station is nestled in the top part of the X. Pretty straightforward.

But it’s the number of stars on the eagle which has be confused. I can identify four groups of stars. The first row of 7 includes the Star of David which is obviously a memorial to the Columbia crew. Then a group of three stars which is probably for Apollo 1. At the bottom part of the eagles wings are another 7 stars, probably for the Challenger crew. But between these is a group of 5 red stars, which I had guessed are in honour of Russians who had perished in missions. I can only find the names of four, including Komarov, Dobrovolsky, Patsayev and Volkov. Perhaps the fifth is for Gagarin who kinda died in a military mission. I think I’ll have to wait for this explanation.

The eagle is carrying a scroll in its talons, wrapped in an alternating Red/White/Blue and White/Blue/Red trim representing the American, Dutch and Russian flags.

The upper part of the eagles wing has some coloured feathers. I don’t know what these colours represent.

At the bottom the crew members names surround the Astronaut symbol.

To my mind there is too much on this patch. I still say the best patch was Expedition 1, because it was very simple and didn’t try to say too much.

Our new home

We’re actually about 1 week away from out house now. It’s very exciting. We are due to get the keys on Mar 25. Once we get the keys we stil lneed to do the tiling, carpeting, blinds, etc so we probably won’t be moving in until 2-3 weeks after that. OSI has a users conference on in mid April which I declined going to so, but I still can’t take time off to move into my new house, which I can’t understand.

Anyhow, I’m umming and ahhing about getting the tinted security film from 3M. Put this film on the windows, and you can’t break them. The film holds the glass together and is also bonded to the frame so you can’t take the glass out. I think this is one of the most effective security devices that we are ever likely to get because with these windows and with the secuity grills nobody will ever be able to get into our house without a key. Or unless we leave a door open.

We’re going to see the Shaolin Monks tonight to celebrate Suzanne’s birthday. I’d love to have the discipline and the balls to do what they do. You wouldn’t want to make one of these guys angry because you’d never get near him. He’d have you out cold before you could think of your first move.

One other cool thing this week is that John Rillie sunk 45 points against Wollongong to put West Sydney into the NBL Finals against Sydney. The wheel really has turned for NSW basketball.

6 weeks away

Our house is now about 6 weeks away. We are busy getting quotes for all the extras that weren’t included in the final costing, such as tiling, carpeting, blinds, paving etc. There is quite a difference between places for most services. For example, one place quoted us $1300 for carpeting two rooms, another place $800. We found a tiler who will do 60 square metres for $1600 after carefully measuring the rooms, and another who will tile for $1200 site unseen. I’m hoping we can find some acceptable blinds for less than $5000.

It’s really starting to look nice now that the kitchen, laundry and bathroom bench tops are in. The ceiling is painted, the wet area tiles are in. I think we could move in there tomorrow really.

Still no sign of Iraq’s “WMD”s.