Expo 2005 Journals:
Dr. Randi Wessen of NASA/JPL gives a talk

水曜日, 9月 14, 2005
1:22 午前

Today started off with something very interesting, and then became a very passive day. That's quite all right because I have been exhausted and I needed a day like this. So it was a nice day.

But guess what I did in the morning! Though it was my day off, I went back in to the Pavilion—but wait! It wasn't for work! I braved the crowded hot icky Expo grounds for—drumroll please!—another JPL speaker! YAY! Today I met Dr. Randii Wessen, who works on the Moon-Mars initiative at JPL and gave a talk in the VIP room about the robotic exploration of the Universe. It was super-interesting. Dr. Wessen thinks for sure that we will discover life on other planets within 20 years. I hope he's right; that'd be the single most amazing news event I can imagine happening. We also learned that NASA is working on developing real TIE fighters. Yes, TIE fighters as in Star Wars. Okay, except not really fighers—but real TIE spacecraft in any case. (Twin ion engine is what the acronym stands for, if I remember correctly. I had heard something about this a while back, where beams of ions power ships like sailboats, which is exceedingly cool and also more efficient than chemical power by quite a LOT.)

I also got another cool NASA pin-badge. :-D (Er, and by "pin-badge" I really just mean "pin," but in Japanese they call them "pin-badji" so we call them pin-badges now, too. The guests are always, always asking us to trade pin-badges with them, or just outright give them to them. Our pavilion has been very stingy with pin-badges, too; they only gave us 10-20 pins each to trade, so we have to be very careful with them. For this reason, you can see US badges going for quite a lot on Yahoo Japan auctions. (As compared to Qatar; they give out handfuls of pins over there to anyone who asks. You can imagine how many little Japanese children come in trying to swap Qatari badges for US ones. Haha, NO.)

Anyway, no one gets the Mars Rover one I got from Dr. Adler, and no one will ge this NASA Exploration one I got from Dr. Wessen! Ha ha ha! My treasures are the envy of all the Pavilion!

I would say more but it keeps having this way of getting late. I'm tired now. But it was really cool to meet someone else from JPL, even if there was no special dinner this time. Still extremely cool.

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