Back to Index
Den Haag Links

February 2001
Moon-Bitz Space Odyssey
Moon-Bitz Space Odyssey II
Assorted February 2001 Images
Roselli Aerospace Industries
Other Months
Index page

Moon-Bitz Space Odyssey
Sunday, February 18, 2001; posted by Paris

Lisa and I won an amazing prize after eating a candy bar. We purchased a "Moon-Bitz" bar at a local Shell gas station and on the wrapper it offered consumers the chance to win a space trip. It was all in Dutch, so I could not instantly tell if we won, so I folded up the wrapper and brought it to work. Much to everyone's surprise it was a winner! Thus began our journey.

Moon-bitz had provided 6 winners (and guests) with this trip in conjunction with the US and European space agencies for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Following 4 weeks of training (at night, after work) we would be prepared to fly to the international space station, conduct space walks and even visit the moon! It was a great 4 day, 3 night experience that I still cannot believe I won!

The following entries show some of the amazing sights (no sounds - we were in space) that can be experienced in space. I can't wait for the next opportunity! Not all of the pictures on the digital camera made it back, however, because I forgot to keep my memory chip in the anti-radiation pouch. (Although the images are distorted in very interesting ways, they are not worth posting).

After 4 weeks of training I could proudly wear my space suit for this memorable photo opportunity. You can see the Moon-bitz logo on the right sleeve!

Flames from the solid rocket boosters light up the clouds of smoke and steam trailing behind Space Shuttle as it lifts off into the pre-dawn sky from a launch pad in Brie, France. Lift-off occurred on time at 6:11:10 a.m. (CET), February 12, 2001. The force was amazing - you could feel your face mush (and the Moon-bitz I had in my pocket did get squished).

Eleven new full-color, flat-panel display screens in the Shuttle cockpit replace 32 gauges and electromechanical displays and four cathode-ray tube displays. The new "glass cockpit" is 75 pounds lighter and uses less power than before, and its color displays provide easier pilot recognition of key functions. The new cockpit is expected to be installed on all shuttles in the NASA fleet by 2002, and it sets the stage for the next cockpit improvement planned to fly by 2005: a "smart cockpit" that reduces the pilot's workload during critical periods. And, they even added some of the Pong games into the system - to relieve the boredom.

We recorded this image of the East Mediterranean coast as we docked with the International Space Station (see solar panel on the Russian-built functional cargo block (FGB) or Zarya). Featured in the foto are the Nile River delta, Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula. The Gulf of Aqaba and Dead Sea are in the distant background.

Lisa checks the U.S.-built crane which had been installed on the International Space Station by the STS-96 crew last year.

One of the Moon-bitz executives took this nice picture of Lisa and me. What was really interesting was approximately every hour-and-half we could view the Sun either setting or rising.