Due to inclement weather today in Florida the Space Shuttle Endeavour (Orbiter Vehicle Designation OV-105), returning from mission STS-126, was diverted to the backup landing option at Edwards Air Force Base near Rosamond, CA (approximately 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles in the Antelope Valley).

sts-126_patch-svgIn total, the shuttle’s journey spanned 6.6 million miles and 250 orbits of Earth. Endeavour landed on temporary runway 22L at Edwards, while the main runway, 4R, is undergoing repairs — making it the first and last shuttle to do so.

This was the 124th space shuttle mission, the 22nd flight for the shuttle Endeavour and the 27th shuttle visit to the station. It was also the 52nd time a shuttle has landed at Edwards Air Force Base.

It will take approximately one week to prepare the shuttle for its return flight to Florida atop a modified 747 (called the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft) and will cost approximately $1.8 million.

Another unexpected item to add to the cost of this mission: a bag of tools valued at $100,000 dropped and forever lost by Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper during the first space walk of the mission. The crew will be flown back to Johnson Space Center in Houston tomorrow.

I was able to record the double sonic booms the shuttle made upon re-entry with my Palm Centro and have embeded the file below — they sound like a cross between a shotgun and car backfiring, but were so loud in person that my entire house shook!

Below is an MP3 of the two sonic booms that occured during the shuttle’s re-entry (click the arrow to play the file).

Finally, here is video of the actual landing from the Associated Press:

Welcome back, Endeavour, and congratulations on a safe return from space!

After reading an update from someone I am following on Twitter I signed up on “Help A Reporter Out (HARO),” a web-based service that connects journalists with the sources they require when writing a story using a social media platform.

According to the founder of the service — entrepreneur, author and speaker Peter Shankman— HARO already claims more than 36,000 members and has a growing number of national journalists using the service on a daily basis. The list was originally launched on Facebook, but because it limits group emails at 1,200 people it was expanded to its present incarnation.

Here’s how it works:

  • Each day, I will receive up to three emails from the service.
  • Each e-mail will have anywhere from 15-30 queries from reporters per email.
  • Every e-mail I receive will be labeled with [shankman.com] in the subject line.
  • If I see a question that I feel qualified to answer, I reply to the reporter asking it.
  • Voila: I am an expert (well, maybe not an expert, but perhaps I will get a quote or two).

That’s how I understand the system works, though I have not yet received an e-mail yet so I cannot speak with any real authority. However, the idea seems very clever and I am curious what the experience will be like. I will be sure to post an update as soon as there is something worth writing about.

Considering one area of my research interests is the impact of Web 2.0 technology on business, to strengthen my credibility in this emerging area, it seemed important to ensure I was involved with as many of the latest online tools and services possible. To that end, I:

  • Signed up for Digg (impressively, less than an hour after I did, my profile page appeared as the fourth result when I searched “doctorious” with Google).
  • Created an account with Twitter (where I already have a student of mine from DeVry as a stalker, I mean follower).
  • Continued adding videos to my YouTube account (though I wonder how interesting my videos are!).
  • Updated my LinkedIn profile and engaged members of one of the several groups to which I belong.
  • Resurrected my del.icio.us account and promise to contribute to it.
  • Reviewed my profile on Technorati and added a feed from this blog.
  • Became very active on Facebook, finding old friends and making new ones.

StumbleUpon has also caught my eye and am considering signing up for it. What other sites and services should I consider?