Friday, February 25, 2011

Discovery Lift-Off. Awesome Day!

Yesterday we drove an hour out to Titusville to watch the Space Shuttle lift off. At any time during the countdown, the lift-off can be scrubbed for clouds, lightning, computer issues, etc. At one point yesterday, they halted the countdown for an Eastern Range computer issue, that was eventually resolved.

We packed beach chairs, sandwiches, a crossword puzzle book, cameras, binoculars and gave ourselves about 5 hours to find a place to watch. We ended up at Veteran's Memorial park on the Indian River Lagoon.
 Those little dots on the causeway are about 1,000 people. Some stood there for over 3 hours.
 We sat at the park for about 3 hours with a crowd of about 2,000. We were surrounded by some really nice people. One man we talked to for a really long time was retired Air Force. He was listening to the NASA feed in his earphones and keeping us updated on what was happening. People chatted about where they were from and previous launches.
 You hear the noise before you see the Shuttle. This pic was about 10 seconds after lift-off. The crowd cheers and claps!
 This is about a minute after take-off.

 This was just about the point where the rocket boosters separate from the shuttle and drop into the ocean. I could barely see it with my eyes or my zoom lens, but the Air Force gentleman handed me his super-duper binoculars and told me to watch it up close!
 The trail stays for a long time.
It was a gorgeous day...sunny and about 80 degrees. I got sunburned shoulders.
This was the third time I went out to watch a shuttle, but the other 2 times the lift-off was scrubbed. This was the last launch of Discovery. Endeavour is scheduled for April 19th. Gabrielle Gifford's husband, Mark Kelly, will be on that launch.

Days like these are what makes me LOVE living in Florida.
This is the link for the You Tube video shot by Mr Sunshine and his fabulous FLIP camera.


Crazy Mom Tats! said...

Oh how cool! I envy you....

blackbird said...

We were lucky enough to see a shuttle launch one year at 5 in the morning. It was dark as we stood with thousands of other people for a couple of hours waiting and it proved to be one of the most memorable experiences of our lives!
Thrilling. Lucky you.

Mrs. Tuna said...

Cool Beans! I've only seen launches on TV. Next time more sunblock girlfriend.

Barbara L said...

What wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing. I am in Orlando and watched from the yard. Some of the teens in the neighborhood were watching with me and I told them, remember you saw this, it is history!