Friday April 10th 2009. Launch -26 days.


Today the most strenuous thing that I did was to search for somewhere to buy fruit and vegetables on a bitterly cold morning with a frigid wind and spitting rain. Almost everything was shut including the normal place that I go to that almost never ever shuts. One small place was open, so, I could replenish with salad stuffs and fruit. I get through a lot of salads and vegetables, so getting regular stocks is important.


Even though the folks in the Netherlands work today it is obvious that a lot of people have taken the day off. The emails are very quiet indeed. We know that fuelling of Herschel is finally happening right now, but there is no word of how it has gone.


Catch up on some more sleep in the afternoon and finish reading “Islands in the Sky”. It’s a wonderful book, but Arthur C. Clarke envisaged a world in which meteorological and geostationary communications satellites would be manned vehicles and near-Earth space would be crowded with people: he never imagined that all this would be done exclusively by ground control. He also had just 3 geostationary communications satellites to handle all the world’s TV, radio and telephones: little did he suspect that there would be hundreds of geostationary satellites, with many countries having their own. We depend on space for so much of our communications these days, as forecast by Arthur C. Clarke, but it has been done in a way very different to the one that he envisaged.