Cosmic chase

| August 20, 2007

Thanks to a tip I saw somewhere on the net today and the ever-helpful information at Heavens Above, I knew that the International Space Station (ISS) would be passing overhead here in Denver around 9:00 pm MDT. And sure enough, just before 9:00, a very bright dot appeared in the northwest sky, slowly heading toward zenith.

What I did not expect was the second, fainter dot that appeared several “inches” behind it (as measured with my hand fully stretched out towards it) and that chased it across the sky. It was, of course, the Space Shuttle, which I now assume has detached from the ISS and is trailing it by quite some distance.  Sandra and I watched them both until one after another they faded in the southeast sky, slipping out of sunlight.

I was only 16 when we landed on the Moon, some 38 years ago. I was sure that by now we’d have bases on Luna and Mars, with multiple space stations ringing the earth. Who would have thought back then that in 2007 it would take $30 million and months of planning for a tourist to get into space for a few days? Lost dreams, lost days.  ..bruce..

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Category: Main, Science, Space

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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