Wednesday, 30 May 2012

An Actual Conversation, or, How Chris Might Make Fun of Us.

Georgina: How far away is the moon?
Matthew: About 200,000 km.
G: Wow, that's really far away. Do you ever think that modern astronauts are sad that there is no publicity about space exploration anymore? I mean, since the moon landing, does anyone really know when they're up there?
M: Well, maybe. But the moon landing was really amazing, because the moon is so much further away than where they're going now. I mean, the space station is only about 200 km away.
G: Wow! Really?
M: Yeah! It took the Apollo astronauts a whole day to get to the moon. And now they're planning a manned Mars exploration, which is 50,000,000 km away, and it's going to take six months just to get there!
G: What the whaaat??
M: Yeah, six months there, a year on the planet, and then six months to get back.
G: Wow. . . I don't want Elizabeth to be one of those astronauts.
M: . . . okay. . .
G: I want her to be one of the people that sends those astronauts away. You know, the ones in the control room. Oh, but wait, that would mean she'd have to live in Florida or Houston, and I don't want that.  
M: She could live in Canada. In Ottawa, maybe? I don't know where the space program is in Canada.
G: I don't want her to live so far away from us!
M: Okay, she won't be an astronaut or a control room person.
G: Imagine if she was a writer! She could do that from anywhere. Hey, maybe she could win the Nobel Prize!
M: Imagine! (at this point we are both laughing) Our daughter could win the Nobel Prize for Literature! Everyone would know we raised a reader!
G: . . . if we ever said that after she won the Nobel Prize, my brother would immediately tell us we raised a writer, not a reader.

Just in case you were wondering, the real distances are:
     Earth to Moon:  384,403 km, bearing in mind that the moon's orbit is elliptical, so it can vary.
     Earth to Space Station: 240 miles (386 km)
     Earth to Mars: 54.6 million miles, again with an elliptical orbit so sometimes it is 401 million km away!! Imagine if your kids were that far away from you!!! Never!

Dr Faff is pretty good with remembering totally random stuff, hey? Maybe he's a wizard.

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