Discovery Mission Has A Navy Feel
The space shuttle Discovery lifted off tonight for a trip to the ISS -- I watched it live while waiting for the Heisman results to be announced. I hadn't heard before I saw the coverage that there are three Navy officers aboard this flight: CAPT Robert L. Curbeam Jr., CDR William A. Oefelein, and CDR Sunita L. Williams. CDR Williams will be transferring to the ISS for a six month tour of duty there.
I've always thought submariners would do good in space -- we're used to living in a high-tech vessel that operates essentially independently of outside support for long periods, and which can kill you if you operate them incorrectly. So far, we haven't had a chance to prove it, but we might be able to soon. Waiting for his ride is submariner CDR Stephen Bowen, a Mission Specialist. I knew him slightly -- he was XO of PCU Virginia when I was Eng on PCU Jimmy Carter, and we shared the same crew support building in the shipyard. I'm sure he'll do us proud when he gets into space.
One thing's for sure -- those dolphins make even a NASA uniform look good: