17 May 2009

We get email ...from orbit!

After we sent our birthday video greeting to Mike Barratt who celebrated his 50th aboard the International Space Station in April, I sent him this email via his colleague Susan Runco at Johnson Space Center in Houston:
Dear Mike

I'll be brief as I know you've got just a few things going on up there!

1. I hope you received and found time to watch our video birthday card. An amateur job we know, but heartfelt.

2. What great luck that the Dayton Daily News happened to ask you about the Beagle Project in your news conference on the 15th - the mention of our project in space has sparked quite a buzz down here in Beagledom!

3. We've got funding from the British Council for a research workshop + feasibility study in Brazil this autumn. It will include a series of day-cruises aboard the tall ship Tocorime to pilot science equipment, workflows, etc. We haven't set a date yet as I'm hoping we can plan this to coincide with ISS passes & your own availability. So you may get to do some Beagle Project science yourself after all! I'll discuss this in much more detail with your colleagues on the ground of course, but wanted you to know about it.

4. My home phone was unexpectedly disconnected last week as a result of being in between service providers. Hope I didn't miss a call from space! It should be back up and running as of tonight. Just to reiterate my contact details: [snip]

My warmest wishes to you, Gennady and Koichi for continued good health, enjoyment and success!

Here was his reply:
Terrific, many thanks. I received really nice birthday videos from Karen and Peter.

Actually glad some time has gone by before the Beagle targets, so that I am a little better with the whole CEO thing. There is definitely some skill to acquire.

Will be talking; having a great time up here, in spite of the age!


What's this about 'Beagle targets', you ask?

In addition to upgrading the ISS and doing lots of science experiments, astronauts aboard the ISS also do a lot of Earth Observation. So, again via Sue Runco, we've sent up a list of 'targets' from the 1831-1836 voyage of HMS Beagle so that if and when the ISS passes over those points and Mike is in the position to photograph them, he can. This is all groundwork for our collaboration - formalised by an International Space Act Agreement - to correlate ISS imagery and ocean surface water samples taken from aboard the new Beagle.

Think this sounds exciting? Why not help us realise the new Beagle by donating to our build fund or buying something from our shop?

1 comment:

Tiziblonde said...

Wow Guys! email from orbit? Sounds surreal! Totally Awesome! You must get a total buzz from being involved in such a project!Talk about MEGA! They don't come much bigger! So cool! Good for you!! I wish you all the best, hope you achieve everything that you set out to achieve and more! Enjoy!
Tizi : )