Ground Control to Major Tom

On Monday, STS-125, the last space shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to replace gyroscopes, batteries and to install two new cameras to outfit the aging satellite for the last time, making it the most powerful in its history. I've talked about space before, and I find it utterly facinating. Hubble itself has had a long and varied history when it comes to space, from a blotched lense to the historic repair mission, not to mention the thousands of beautiful pictures that it's captured over its long life.

The current mission is one that I've been looking forward to for a while now. A couple months ago, I wrote an article for io9, titled Stalking NASA, which was a laundry list of ways in which someone can follow up on NASA's activities via social networking sites. What they have been doing with this launch is really highlighting the mission. In the leadup to the launch, there was numerous updates from a number of twitter feeds for Space Shuttle Atlantis, a couple of the astronauts, NASA and a couple other lines. Facebook had a number of status updates for the specific pages for the mission, and almost the entire mission has been broadcast live online.

I'm really digging the ability to watch this stuff live. Whether it's watching Atlantis docking with Hubble to watching the astronauts work (in some cases, watching from THEIR view) has been absolutely fantastic. You almost get a feeling that you're right there with them in space. The images are absolutely stunning, and I really hope that this'll attract more interest to the space program.

Man, I want to go to space.