Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Easter Island and the Space Shuttle

Sometimes when my son and I are doing school we run across items that really surprise me. Today was one of those days.
We were reading a book about Easter Island.We had been through what they thought the history of the island was and some ideas about the statues. They think they were made by each clan as their own ancestor that looked over them and also some might have been for keeping track of the seasons as they did lots of agriculture on the island. We got to the end of the book and it talked about what was happening now on the island. This is when it said that in 1986, the airstrip built in 1966 was enlarged to provide an emergency landing place for the United States space shuttle. What? If I remember correctly,the space shuttle left from Florida and would land in California and sometimes I think it landed back in Florida. Why would you pick a small island in the South Pacific away from everything? It would be a great place to hide the shuttle and have it take off and land in California I suppose. The island is 64 square miles and is located 2200 miles from South America and 1400 miles from Pitcairn Islands. When looking at the map in the book, it appears that Easter Island is situated in between California and Florida. That would make a great place to hide the shuttle if you cannot leave orbit. I remember when I was 14 I saw the space shuttle land. I remember a man had a child on his shoulders and was pointing to the dot in the sky that was the shuttle coming in for a landing and saying that ship was in space a minute ago to his child. All of us in the crowd were in awe of this sight and it made you proud to be an American.

Easter Island is the yellow dot. California is hard to see in this map but you get the general idea.

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