Posts Tagged ‘inauguration’

ISS

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

I love watching the International Space Station pass overhead. It’s in a low earth orbit, so it can easily be seen with the naked eye. I love the way it glides serenely across the sky, and it fascinates me to know that there are people living and working on it.

There are several web sites that list it’s visible passes, and it turns up on the dot as predicted. Sometimes it’s not visible at all, but at other times it’s visible once or twice a day, as long as the sky is clear and not cloudy of course. We can only see it when the sun is in the right position for it’s light to be reflected from the ISS, and that’s in the early morning or just after dark.

It only takes an hour and a half for the space station to go all the way round the earth, so I can watch it go over, go into the house and cook a meal or watch a TV programme, and then go out and watch it again and in that time it’s been all the way round the world. Isn’t that amazing! It travels at an average speed of 27,700 kilometres (17,210 miles) per hour, at an approximate altitude of 350 kilometres with 15.7 orbits per day.

The two American astronauts on board were able to watch part of President Obama’s inauguration last week. They weren’t able to see all of the broadcast live, because as the ISS was orbiting the earth at high speed, the signal only arrived intermittently.
See here if you would like to see more information about the International Space Station including who is on it at the moment.

Congratulations Mr President

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

These photos are shots of the TV as Barack Obama is being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America. It was a very moving ceremony. As George W Bush arrived, he was still President so the band played ‘Hail To the Chief’ for him for the last time. After Chief Justice John Roberts had officiated over his first inauguration by swearing in President-elect Obama, he said ‘Congratulations Mr President’ and the band started playing ‘Hail to the Chief’ for the first time for the new President.

There’s a lot of hope

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

The mood in the USA is full of excitement and hope with the inauguration today of the first African American to become President. When I listen to Barack Obama’s speeches, he reminds me of both John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King. He’s a great orator and uses words to paint powerful visual images, just like MLK did. Obama is calling on all Americans, regardless of their racial origins or any other minority group they are part of, to unite and work together with him to make their country a truly United States of America. After so many years of ‘political correctness’ that has gone way over the top causing damage to communities and society, it’s so good to hear a world leader encourage everyone to work together as one group with the same aims and goals. He is asking all Americans, including young people, to volunteer and get involved in helping others. Yesterday he led the way. On his last day as president-elect he first went to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit patients who had been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and then he went to the Sasha Bruce House, a homeless shelter for teens, where he joined other volunteers to do some painting. He joked with the press, ?This is good practice ?cause I?m moving to a new house tomorrow.? Quoting Martin Luther King, Obama said ?Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.?
It’s 48 years ago now since JFK gave his own inaugural speech in January 1961. I wonder if Obama will remind of this phrase from that speech in his own inaugural address.

“And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” JFK Jan 1961

Congratulations Mr President

Making and repeating history

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Barack Obama has arrived in Washington ready for his inauguration as America’s 44th President on Tuesday. He travelled to Washington by train, repeating part of the same train ride that Abraham Lincoln took on his way to become president in 1861. Obama’s journey started in Philadelphia where he gave a speech to supporters. This is part of it:-
“We are here to mark the beginning of our journey to Washington. This is fitting because it was here, in this city, that our American journey began. It was here that a group of farmers and lawyers, merchants and soldiers, gathered to declare their independence and lay claim to a destiny that they were being denied. We are here today not simply to pay tribute to our first patriots but to take up the work that they began. Only a handful of times in our history has a generation been confronted with challenges so vast. An economy that is faltering. Two wars, one that needs to be ended responsibly, one that needs to be waged wisely. A planet that is warming from our unsustainable dependence on oil. What is required is a new declaration of independence, not just in our nation, but in our own lives.”

So he’s repeated history with his train ride, and on Tuesday he will make history while the world watches.