Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Canada in Space

This week, I resumed my task of taking photos for the Canada 150 celebrations here in Carleton Place. There are a group of us who have volunteered to take photos for the town at the various events that will occur this year for Canada's 150th birthday. No, I wasn't there for the birthday or the first anniversary, so just stop that chucking in the back row.

You may recall that I have already shot (so to speak) the Mystery Dinner Theatre, and Whiskey and Wickedness in January, Aladdin in February, and Heather's Heritage Journal Workshop earlier this month.. Or you may not, for I am but the lowliest of bloggers and so unworthy of being remembered.

I arrived at the library with enough time to take in the lie of the land, so to speak, and to get set up, but horror of horrors, I hadn't put the battery back in the camera after recharging it. Fortunately, I only live a short distance away, but I still barely got back in time for the dimming of the lights for the multimedia-aided lecture.

About the lecturer: if I was a trained reporter, I likely would have gotten his name. In fact, I probably would have regardless of the lack of training if I was a trained photographer and could remember to check my equipment before going on assignment.

Alas and alack, I am a total hack (which kind of rhymes), but I do work for free after all.

So, here is the gentleman, whom I recalled meeting in Stewart Park in Perth several summers ago. He had his telescope out, and when we spoke to him, he told us how he was preparing to capture the transit of Venus. But I didn't get his name then either. Sigh. (Edit: Frank Hitchens is his name.)

He told us how Canada got started in the American space program after production of our highly advanced Avro Arrow airplane was halted by the narrow-minded government of the day. (The next four photos are of a few of the slides that were shown in the presentation.)

The Avro Arrow

However, when the American space program got going a few years later, they hired many former scientists and engineers from the defunct Avro program. And that's how Canada got started with its many contributions to the space program.

Canada was third country in the world to send a satellite into orbit: Alouette.

The Alouette Satellite

Of course, a noteworthy contribution has been the magnificent Canada Arm used on the space station. It was the Canada Arm which really built the station and which continues to play a crucial role.

There was much more, including our role in the Mars ventures and others that are still in the development stage. We have also had quite a few astronauts, including the rather famous Chris Hadfield, the fellow with the moustache. (Of course by highlighting Mr Hadfield, I unintentionally slight the others, which they do not deserve for they are all heroes.)

The audience was small but were rewarded with an excellent talk. The kids that you see were very attentive and got involved in discussion and questions.

So, despite my near faux pas with the battery and being too preoccupied to get the man's name. I was pleased to do this and record the event for myself and for the town.


Beatrice P. Boyd said...

No need to berate yourself, John, for not getting the speaker's name and forgetting the camera battery, because you were there and sure your presence was appreciated. Too bad the library program was spo sparsely attended and it's the same with many programs in our library.

troutbirder said...

You go Canada. Interesting program indeed...:)

Mage said...

Who ever ran this will have his name. You did great and recording it all. bravo.

Marie Smith said...

Great job! Chris Hadfield and all the other astronauts are heroes!

MARY G said...

I once left on vacation without the battery. Cost me.
You do get excellent story photos.
And I still steam about the Arrow. Narrow minded is far too kind.

Carleton Place Public Library said...

His name is Frank Hitchens- he's an astronomer out of Perth. He does some wonderful seminars for us every once and a while, and we feel lucky to have him each time he comes!

Vicki Lane said...

That first photo of Mr. Hitchens is excellent!

Jenn Jilks said...

I'm still having trouble with the 150th...
Our treatment of First Nations, and all.

Ginnie said...

Good for you John. That is a nice undertaking that you are involved in. The speaker has very distinguished facial expressions and you caught them well.

Kay said...

Yay for Canada! I love seeing Canada painted on the arm for all space travelers to see. They should have added the maple leaf for color.