The universe. When most people hear that word, they think of planets, moons and stars. But have you ever really sat there and pondered about its vastness? It’s pretty much impossible to wrap your head around how large it really is. Our galaxy alone is ~100,000 light years in diameter (that’s 5,878,499,810,000 miles across!) and contains anywhere from 100-400 billion stars. And that’s just our galaxy. There are roughly 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. We are but a speck of paint on the largest canvas known to man.
Really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? It’s for this reason that I am in complete awe of all things universe related, like space exploration. Lucky for you, that means you get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into my latest adventure: Live coverage of the maiden launch of NASA’s Orion Spacecraft that will take astronauts farther into space than ever before.
Join us, tomorrow, December 3rd, for a live multi-media tour of NASA’s facilities over on our Instagram page. All leading up to the launch of Orion December 4th, 2014 at 7:05 a.m. EST. Republic Wireless (and you!) will be there to watch history being made. For its first mission, the unmanned Orion will orbit the earth two times at up to 3,600 miles above the surface of the earth before splashing back down in the Pacific ocean. Loaded up with sensors, the spacecraft will be put to the test through solar radiation zones and temperatures up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit during reentry at 20,000 mph.
For anyone that knows me, they quickly become aware of my obsession with space and that this is a dream come true. I’ve also been to Kennedy Space Center three times (so far) and have toured the Vehicle Assembly Building, the Launch Control Center and Launch Pad 39A, which is where most of the Apollo missions were launched from. Last year, I witnessed my first launch on December 3, 2013. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carried a SES-8 communications satellite into orbit as its payload. I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting it is to watch a launch from the historical Cocoa Beach pier, so I’ll just share a video of it instead
I follow NASA, SpaceX, Elon Musk, Space.com…(you get the picture) on social media. Back in October, NASA Social announced an opportunity of a lifetime: Witness History: Preview Orion’s First Flight Test Launch in Florida. Up to 150 selected participants would have the opportunity to attend a two-day event covering the first launch of the Orion Spacecraft on Exploration Flight Test-1. Participants get to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities on Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, hear about the missions and goals from NASA engineering teams, meet and interact with astronauts and members of the NASA social media team. And, of course, view the launch of the Delta IV heavy rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft. Suffice it to say, I applied and was chosen as one of the 150 participants!
The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, originally created under the Constellation Program in 2005, was to support the International Space Station with both cargo and crew, as well as further exploration of the Moon and Mars. In 2010, the Constellation Program was canceled. The Orion spacecraft was renamed as the Orion Multi-Purpose Exploration Vehicle in 2011 under the space policy of the Barack Obama administration. Weighing in at 46,848 lbs, the Orion spacecraft is designed specifically for beyond Low Earth Orbit human exploration of asteroids, the Moon and eventually Mars.
We’re more than thrilled to be able to share this historic moment with all of you. Follow along with us on Instagram as I tour the facilities, meet astronauts and witness the launch that will change the course of human deep space exploration. And, as a bonus, I’ll have our latest and greatest phone, the Moto X 2nd Gen. to capture all of the events.
P.S. Fun fact: For our previous phone launches, we codename our phones for privacy and security reasons. All of them, so far, have been named after space programs (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo). The Moto X 2nd Gen. was codenamed Apollo II. So, in essence through the transitive property, Republic goes to space!