The space shuttle Atlantis finally launched last night (Friday, July 8, 2011 at 8:26 am SLT) both in Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Kennedy Space Center in virtual world Second Life. It was a historic event because the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis was ultimate last in NASA's fleet. It was also historic because for the first time in the history of mankind such event was mirrored via a virtual launch inside a virtual world at a syncronized time.
It was an honor for me and my students to be able to witness this event and be part of a history. We learned together at the site. http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/135_splash/index.html
Yes, I didn't know much about the Atlantis but it was okay because teacher and students could learn together. :))
I got a panic attack in RL when the count down was halted at T-31 seconds. The launch held in RL and so did in SL because there was a milestone in Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At 8:28 am SLT the clock restarted and the count down continued. Finally both Space Shuttle Atlantis blasted off from Florida and Second Life at 8:29 am SLT.
This was truly a bittersweet moment. It was the last space shuttle mission but also the first mission to carry iPhone into International Space Station. So I hope my students will learn that the end of one thing might be the start of another bigger thing.
I thank my friends Chenin and Steve for inviting us (we saved flight trips to Florida and didn't have to compete for best spot with milliion other RL spectators) and for preparing such a marvelous creation in virtual world. ( Look just how realistic is their work in Second Life compared to this: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/18424716#43659943
This is a MAGNUM OPUS.