Saturday, November 15, 2008

Space Shuttle Endeavor Night Launch

I'm very fortunate. Fortunate because I live very close to a place like nowhere else in the country. When the space shuttle launches, it is always an awesome experience, but when it launches at night....it is spectacular. No, more than spectacular, magnanimous perhaps. The whole night sky lights up and you can see the shuttle from miles and miles away.

Knowing that the streets and all the good viewing spots are crowded and busy, I decided to stay home with the TV on and step outside and watch it from here.

The video doesn't do it justice what-so-ever! The sky over my house went from pitch black to very bright in just a matter of moments. I could even hear the rumble of the boosters as they lifted off! Many people wish they could see a shuttle lift off or drive for hours to come see it. I am lucky enough to step out of my door and see it in my backyard! We've been told that this is most likely the last night launch ever.

I remember being young and watching the shuttle launch from my home in Central Florida. We were told how lucky we were to be able to see the small dot in the sky that our parents and teachers informed us was a space shuttle. I believed them. However, I now know that I wasn't so lucky then, that was NOTHING compared to what my students get to see here. At home it was a small dot in the sky that was easily missed if you were looking in the wrong direction. Here, you can HEAR the shuttle take off and can't help but see it in the sky, especially at night. Also, when the shuttle comes home become a totally different experience here. At home it was a sonic boom that made ya jump a little, but even if you were outside you couldn't see anything and didn't know it was coming unless you had the news on. Because of this, I never thought about trying to see the shuttle land. I got to see my first shuttle come home last year during school. Another teacher ran though my class and told me it was about to land and we all filed outside. We saw the white shape in the sky coming in and heard two distinct booms that did more than make you jump, they rattled the windows! I was on the cell phone with a friend of mine on the other side of the state once and reminded her that the shuttle was coming home any minute. Apparently it isn't as big of a news item as it is here because she had no idea. All of a sudden she says, "I think I just heard the boom" I laughed. Here, you don't think you hear it, you KNOW you hear it, and a little while later, I KNEW I heard it... and so did my cat who took off running to hide under the bed!

2 comments:

Robert V. Sobczak said...

We could almost call NASA our state bird. Not quite, but you know what I mean. It certainly captivates our imagination more than our true state bird: the mockingbird. How did that happen?

Elizabeth said...

So fun! Like you, I remember those days in school when we looked for the speck in the sky... and were so excited to find it. How cool that now you see it up close and personal. :)

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