Space Expo 2014

I talked about this in passing a couple entries ago, but today was planned to be a busy day for me -- the Tokyo Space Expo 2014!!!

Its extremely rare for me to post a picture like this on my blog, seeing as I'm not wearing Moi-meme-Moitie, but I couldn't resist wearing my NASA shirt for the occasion!

The Space Expo is a collaboration between NASA and JAXA held in Makuhari Messe until the end of September. Unfortunately for me, Makuhari Messe is quite a ways away, so I had to wake up extremely early just to get there by 11:00 am. Even worse was one of the trains I needed to catch was out of service, so I was delayed about 20 minutes after promising a couple friends I would be there in time. Why do things like this always happen to me...? (;~;)

Regardless, I finally made it there. From the outside, the venue was relatively quiet.

However, the inside was a different story...

To tell the truth, this expo wasn't all that different from visiting the NASA Space Center in Houston. For those who are interested, check out my NASA entry here!!
Having said that, since I already wrote at length about my NASA visit, this entry will be a little more condensed and I'll try to focus on aspects of this expo that were different from the US Space Center.

Upon entering the expo, we were immediately lead to a room with a short video on the NASA/JAXA Space programs and the history of space missions. This wasn't anything all that new to me, so immediately after the video finished showing we entered a room that displayed historical figures from various backgrounds who helped shape our imaginations and understanding of space and space programs today. Sadly I didn't know a lot of the figures portrayed in this area, but there were posters and TVs displaying a number of influences from cartoons, TV shows, etc based on these people. My most favorite was...

Da Vinci!!

I cannot emphasize enough how much I love and admire Leonardo Da Vinci. Actually, some of you may recall back when I wrote about visiting NASA, there was a large section upon the main area where the space center decided to display Da Vinci's inventions. Every time I see Da Vinci references within the space industry it makes me extremely happy. He was truly a pioneer and an inspiration to so much technology we take for granted today. I feel like Da Vinci was a major gateway to innovation, even if for many years his inventions went largely unnoticed. I just can't help but feel at awe when I think of his genius.

after this portion of the expo, we headed to the main part, which just kept getting bigger and bigger... It was mind blowing how much they had to offer! However, even though it was extremely large, in the beginning especially, the displays were extremely similar to those shown at Space Center Houston. I have to admit, at times it felt a little strange to be taking pictures of replicas of actual engines and space crafts I saw in the US. Therefore, I want to skip past those parts in this entry so I don't become redundant.

One thing I found particularly impressive at the Space Expo was the amount of large crafts they replicated in real size. I'm not particularly talking about rockets, but things like rovers, engines, probes, and various other things I couldn't begin to explain accurately.

This expo was surprisingly very well up to date to current happenings in space exploration, so in the picture last picture above you can see the current Mars Curiosity rover. If I remember correctly, not even NASA had a replica of Curiosity, so it was exciting to see how large it really is! In pictures and videos it always seems so small, but in reality its quite big. I also fell in love with the parachute which draped over a big area with its module sitting underneath. The module looked a lot like those from the Mercury missions, which I posted pictures of previously, so there wasn't much of a need to reiterate it.
Finally there were the probes which I don't quite remember from NASA so I was instantly attracted. The CCP one at the top kind of reminds me of Wall-E.

Besides the large items, there were a few other replicas not to scale, but still with amazing detail!

While I always love looking at the ships, one of the main attractions was the ISS hanging from the ceiling!! Obviously its not the same size as the real ISS floating in space right now, but it was exciting to see a larger scale model of it like this. In real life it was easy to see the details so you were able to get an impression of how it must really look orbiting our earth right now.

Speaking of ISS, back when I visited NASA I got to enter a replica of a portion of the ISS which was breath taking!! At this space expo however, while it wasn't the ISS particularly, we did get to enter a replica of Japan's Experiment Module, KIBO!

The interior of KIBO is a lot like the ISS, and its purpose is much like the ISS in general as it is somewhat of an extension. The top picture is the exterior of it before entering, and then the bottom two pictures are first a replica of an astronaut performing a space walk, and secondly, autographs by real astronauts who came to visit the expo! The most recent one happens to be from August 19th, just 6 days before we went! I'm a little sad we didn't get a chance to see them in real life, but it was still nice to see their autographs and think about how even they continue to help the space programs by showing up to events like these.

I have a lot of pictures from the inside of KIBO, but after reviewing them, I felt like they didn't do much justice to the true feeling of the module, so I left them out. I think my original pictures from the inside of the ISS replica give a better impression of what its like to visit inside something like this.

Finally, since this entry is starting to get long, here are my last few highlights from the trip.

The first two pictures are as you might have guessed, space suits. The very first one shows what it looks like from the interior and exterior of the suit to give you an idea of everything necessary to make a space suit a space suit. Then the next picture is the thermal suit which controls heating and cooling for the astronaut while doing space walks or going out on the moon, etc.
Underneath we have the safety net and life rafts used to help astronauts out of their craft upon landing in the sea. I cannot even begin to imagine the feeling of falling from space to land in an ocean rocking back and forth until someone comes to retrieve you... that has to be difficult.

Afterwards is one of my most favorite parts -- the film from the original photographs taken on the moon! This is something I never would have expected to see in person, so it instantly captured my attention. Under these film strips there was a display of various cameras used during moon walks. Its amazing to see how much cameras have changed today. Theres something truly inspiring about seeing equipment like this and realizing these cameras captured images virtually nobody will ever be able to do in their life time. To be on the moon taking pictures of it surface must feel like a dream!

But moving along, the last picture is actually something I saw in the US as well, but I took a different picture of. The control deck on the Atlantis. Last time my picture was close up and I completely forgot to get a picture from further away to get a proper view of the scene. This time I made sure to do so because the control panel is something that never stops intriguing me. It really makes me wish I could pilot a space craft, but then again thats a huge responsibility I would be terrified of messing up...

All in all, the Space Expo was a success! We spent the entire day from morning until late in the afternoon combing every part of the venue until we were exhausted and hungry. While I really enjoyed my time, a part of me can't stop wishing to go back again... however, I don't think theres enough time to do so. But! that doesn't mean the space exploration adventures are over! Theres actually a number of places in Tokyo and other areas of Japan dedicated to the space program that I absolutely want to see some day!! So really, this is only until next time, JAXA!!

............oh...whats that? Am I just going to end this entry with only a JAXA report??

( ̄ー+ ̄)
You didn't think I actually forgot, did you?
Actually, I went to the book store yesterday thinking the GLB was supposed to be released on the 24th only to find nothing was there...
Today while we were having lunch I happened to check my phone and see Mana's blog update so immediately after we finished we ran to the nearest book store!!

Just as the last issue, there are only two pictures this time. I know I didn't post volume 52 scans on -here- but were you still able to find them in the hidden location?

By the way, I wonder what everyone thinks about this autumn 2014 collection... To be honest, while I love the design, I'm a little disappointed to see a lack of variation. Two coats that are nearly the same, with the only difference being EGA and EGL?? It looks like there is a blue dress underneath the EGL coat, but the only stock items shown are the ones below Mana on the EGA photo... I would really love to know what that dress (or skirt) looks like!!

At least the new hair style looks nice (although it reminds me of a friend of mine...)

Buckle Belt Half Coat (EGA) 62,000 yen
Coat wth Double Cuff Belt (EGL) 64,000 yen
Crystal Cross Comb (EGM) 6,000 yen
Crystal Cross Choker (EGM) 4,500 yen

By the way, please consider purchasing your own copy of the Gothic & Lolita Bible since there are all kinds of amazing content besides these two photos!!

Gothic & Lolita Bible International Sales on CDJapan
Gothic & Lolita Bible International sales on Yesasia

GLB Official Site (Japanese)