We talk about launching D-Lab. That's how it feels -- lifting a massive payload into orbit. There have been months of planning and training, and now the boosters are firing. Even a historian of Cold War science and technology can't be ironic about how incredible it is to see the thing slowly lift off the ground.

Our doors open on Tuesday, February 19. We haven't planned any opening festivities. We've put all our effort into getting ready to launch. We'll have a formal celebration later, to mark our opening and to thank everyone whose work was necessary to get us to this point.

Photo courtesy of NASA http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/ABSTRACTS/GPN-2000-000759.html.