July 20, 2006

Three times lucky? Not this week...

My space adventures seem to be unlucky.

After the failure of the CryoSat mission October last year, I was recently at another launch event for a new satellite: MetOp. Unfortunately (or, in retrospect, fortunately?) I wasn't at the launch site itself but was invited at a European site to attend the event.

Fun, except for the fact that about 1,5 hours before the launch the countdown was aborted... Luckily this isn't as serious as losing the satellite, as happened with CryoSat, and everyone was still fairly optimistic that it would be successful 24 hours later. That confidence proved to be unfounded, when again a few hours in advance the launch was called off.
Take three = lucky? Uhm, nope. After being very very close, the countdown clock stopped at 2min19s before take-off....


MetOp is now looking at a delay until well after the summer. So frustrating, after being so close.
The good thing is of course that the satellite is still on the ground, and is ready for launch. We just have to be slightly more patient.


On a sidenote, Frankfurt is a very nice city! Very different than expected with a very modern, sky-scraper part and an older part of town, lovely riverside etc. Perfect for hanging out for an afternoon, sipping coffee, soaking up the sun and reading my book. Hmmm. These worktrips aren't bad at all!


And on a very very different sidenote, due to all of the above, I have already made huge adjustments to my China route in all my daydreaming. Anyone know anything about crossing the border between KZ and China?


bonny said...

Wow...so glad that you decided to spend your trip in China!
Well, Machiruda chan, first would you kindly tell me what you would like to see? Or...what you are really interested in? The modern cities? The historical sites? The ethnic groups? The food?(Frankly, not all the food in China is that exciting, and the flavours change a lot in different parts of China.)
Hmmm...definitely you need to visit me for further information^^ me and my flatmate(a dutch young lady who had spent 1 year in China, 4 months in India, 2 months in Isareal) would welcome you with a huge album of photos she made in China, a lonely planet with detailed map and fabulous Chinese food.:D

machiruda said...

hiya bonny! yes, you'll definitely have to give me some inside information (*^-^*)

I have too little time as it is, so for now the plan is to travel from Beijing to Shanghai in about three weeks. The standard route I'm sure but it'll have to do this time.
Looking for cities (but Beijing & Shanghai should cover that), some countryside, historical sites, architecture, etc etc.
Am trying to read up on it, but it also depends on timing, when I'll be able to get away from work, and what my travelpartner will want to do...