Stephen Hawking Airborne

World-famous physicist Stephen Hawking experienced eight rounds of weightlessness on Thursday during a better-than-expected airplane flight that he saw as the first step toward a trip in space. Link (There is also a must see video).

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Hawking is an amazing man and I'm so happy to see him get to do what very few have ever had. This is as close to space as he'll ever get to.

These made me a bit teary eyed.

What a great set of pictures! Just awesome.
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Shades of Heinlein and Bonenstall! The imaginings, the suggestions and the musings of those old science fiction stories are showing remarkable staying power. They are also fulfilling a lifelong dream - that I would live to see at least the first small steps into space being taken not by highly trained specialists but by regular guys, like you and me. For Dr. Hawking to be among the very first not only lends credence to my hope, it is also this:

That diligent study, careful experiment, application of known principles and enthusiasm can combine to create such a wonderful scenario. That Hawking, without muscular control a true slave to gravity, can be seen by all of us to exult in its absence and find a deep invigoration is a fine metaphor to highlight a possible future for all of us.

I exult with Dr. Hawking.
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