Craig Fifer

Defying Gravity

 Posted by at 8:00 am  3 Responses »
Jul 122011


Taken from the window of Delta flight 2195 (July 11, 2011)

I’m writing this post while sitting on a chair.  IN THE SKY!

What’s amazing to me is not that I can type these words on a laptop, or even that I can transmit them to servers on the ground, or even still that you can access them from just about anywhere in the world.  Those feats all pale in comparison to the fact that I’m soaring five and a half miles above the ground, barreling forward at 527 miles per hour.

I’ve just spent the last several days immersed in the wonder of spaceflight, capped off by witnessing the last Space Shuttle launch in history.  I had intended to use this time on the plane to record my reflections on that incredible experience, but seeing the clouds out the window of my DC-9 reminded me that flight is not a miracle reserved for the chosen few who have the privilege of visiting space. Continue reading »

My Space Story

 Posted by at 11:45 pm  4 Responses »
Jul 042011
Craig in front of Atlantis

Craig with Atlantis at Launch Pad 39-A, the day before STS-132 (2010)

Since I’m going to be writing several posts about my upcoming participation in a NASA tweetup during the final Space Shuttle launch later this week, I thought I would provide a little background on why I love all things space.

The Early Years

I can’t pinpoint exactly when I became interested in space, but the first memory I have of something space-related occurred in 1985, when I was six or seven years old and lived just outside of New York City.  My father was overseeing the opening of a new site for his employer in Roanoke, Va., a wonderful city to which we would eventually move and in which I would live for 18 years.  For several months before we moved, my father commuted to Roanoke during the week, and returned to New York each weekend.  To remind my sister and me that he was thinking of us during his travels, my father always came back each week with a toy or souvenir that he bought for us.  (I’m not sure if my mother got a gift every week, but one of the weeks he brought her back a diamond, so I think it averaged out.) Continue reading »

Jul 012011

So now I have a blog. Here’s why it took so long…

Treasures on the Internet
(Very fancy header graphic I created in 1994)

I made my first webpage in 1994, to accompany a workshop I led at the Virginia Society for Technology in Education‘s annual conference to demonstrate the diversity of content on the nascent World Wide Web.  Not long after, I created a personal homepage and added a few more links.   I started to imagine the site as a way to share my experiences and perspectives on all sorts of subjects.  Perhaps I would provide a review of a new restaurant I enjoyed.  Perhaps I would wax philosophical on the issues of the day.  Perhaps I would share a list of all the movies I’d seen, or all the places I’d visited.

I quickly restrained myself.  After all, who would be interested in reading my streams of consciousness online?  At the time, the idea that other people would care to follow my every thought and move seemed ridiculous.  Apparently, I was ahead of my time. Continue reading »