The affine Grassmannian is the analog of the Grassmannian for the loop group. They are very important objects in mathematical physics and the Geometric Langlands program. In this talk, I will explain my recent work on the central degeneration of semi-infinite orbits, Iwahori orbits and Mirkovic-Vilonen cycles in the affine Grassmannian. I will also use lots of convex polytopes to illustrate my results. In addition, I will explain the connections between my work and other parts of geometric representation theory and combinatorial algebraic geometry.