What a great day!
I arrived a little early so waiting by the main entrance I am Joined by a gentleman in an invalid buggy who says in west country accent. "Yesterday I just went straight in". I explained it was 10 mins too early and he looked very familiar to me. I tried to look at his name badge and saw the name Colin but the rest was obscured. Then the penny dropped! My God i was talking to Professor Colin Pilinger CBE, he of Beagle Mars Probe fame. I shook his hand and we went off into a long conversation about Beagle and funding etc. What a fascinating man. A great start to the morning I thought.
9am - 12am a walk around the exhibitors stands and lots of goodies and
info on all aspects of space exploration. I go to Virgin Galactic stand and see amazing models and videos. ESA and the fantastic Japanese space agency stand to watch streaming video from the their polar orbiter. Awesome! I get lots of goodies and posters and badges etc.
On to the Korean stand and as they are hosting IAC 2009 they had the Korean Cosmonaut Yi SO-Yeon and Oi get to talk to her and bagged her autograph on the korean booklet.
12 noon off for a posh nosh courtesy of British Interplanetary Society. I meet some of the guys involved in the Black Arrow project.
At the Luncheon I bag Soviet Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev what a fascinating man too. 10 mins later Japanese Astronaut Dr Chiaki Mukai and American Astronaut John David Bartoe.
Lunch finished and off to conference center for Lecture "from imagination to reality" Space travel and Science Fiction by Stephen Baxter British science Fiction author.
Then Opportunities in Public Spaceflight (commercial, medical and personal aspects) with questions and answers by the couple who intend to have their honeymoon in space on Virgin Galactic.
Then Life as an Astronaut our chance to question a panel of 4 astronauts.
I then Managed to bag the autograph of my last Astronaut of the day the 3 mission French Astronaut Jean-Francois Clervoy.So all in all 5 Astronauts met and autographs obtained.
As I said a great day and one I'll never forget. I will bring some of the Stuff to the next meet and let you all see it.
Well thats enough for now
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Meade 8inch SCT. Observatory mounted on an HEQ5 Pro using EQMOD Canon 1000D modified DSLR,200mm Dobsonian, 200mm Celestron C8, 15x70 Astro Binoculars. 2x Mintron ccd cameras, lots of other stuff.
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