Sunday, October 30, 2016

Goodbye Columbus, Hello Atlanta

The busyness of life has swept me away, and just like that, our time in Columbus, Ohio has concluded. We had anticipated staying longer, but my husband's career has taken us elsewhere. I spent two and a half months in Columbus, exploring central Ohio and enjoying the American Midwest.

Our first Ohio home was a hotel in the Polaris area. North of the city, Polaris is named after the North Star. I enjoyed the fun astronomy-themed names such as Pulsar, Antares, Gemini, Orion, Sun Flare, Sirius, and Lyra. Well done, city planners!

The corner of Polaris and Gemini

I met a colleague for lunch at the Ohio State University campus. Even newer to the city than I was, John was just settling into his new role as a professor, and not just any professor, the Armstrong Chair. I knew John in Huntsville, Alabama years ago and loved catching up with him. Rarely do I get a chance to chat about space policy and Chinese relations over lunch. I wish that my time in Columbus hadn't been so short so I could meet up with him again.

While on campus, John showed me the little John Glenn collection in one of the nearby OSU buildings: newspaper clippings, old photographs, childrens' space drawings, a model of the Mercury capsule, and a Moon rock. I can't help but geek out over space memorabilia.

John Glenn's Moon rock plaque at OSU

Space stuff! at OSU

And now I'm settling into Atlanta, Georgia and once again house hunting. There is a larger space community here, including university Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, Emory University, Georgia Aerospace, Space Works, and subsidiary companies Generation Orbit, Blink Aero, and Terminal Velocity. Elsewhere in Georgia (around five hours away!) is an effort to create a spaceport in Camden County.

I've been too busy to meet anyone of the space community here yet. Atlanta traffic dampens my motivation. For example, there's an astronomy talk at Georgia State University on Wednesday evening, but with rush hour traffic, it would take an hour to get there by train or over an hour by car. Much closer to where we're currently living is a stargazing event by the Atlanta Astronomy Club on Friday I plan to attend. I also just joined the National Defense Industrial Association and the Space Committee of the local chapter. I'm still looking for locals to meet and things to get involved in!

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