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July 21st, 2011, 05:18 AM #1The End of an Era
When I was a child my family went on one of our many trips to Disney World. While down there we decided to take part of a day and take a drive over to Kennedy Space Center. When we arrived, we discovered that there was going to be a shuttle night launch that night. My dad went to the info office to see if there were any passes available for us to go out to the viewing area to watch. There was a lady in front of him returning 4 passes, as there were 4 of us, my dad went ahead and got the tickets from that lady.
Even though I was young, it's something I never forget to this day. It was one of the most awesome things I have ever seen in my life, and I'm glad that I was able to experience it. It was a perfectly clear night, the launch made it seem like high noon. We watched it go for miles, we were able to see the booster rockets separate and fall, we watched it until it was the smallest of a spec in the sky.
Watching the rear wheels of Atlantis touch the runway this morning kind of got to me.
July 21st, 2011, 10:29 AM #2
Agreed, definitely an end to something very special but hopefully a new beginning will come from it. I always wanted to go down for a shuttle launch and never did.
July 21st, 2011, 10:33 AM #3
I lived in Tampa, we could watch all the launches about a minute and a half after they took off if there were no clouds.
I watched the Challenger explode while taking a break from lunch in high school.
My family and I saw a night launch from A1A about 10 years ago.
I won't forget.
July 21st, 2011, 12:44 PM #4
I've never seen a live launch, but we did tour the space center on a trip to FL back in 1989, when my daughter was 12. Somewhere I still have some packages of freeze-dried "space food" from the gift shop.
A couple of years earlier on a trip to DC, I almost got kicked out of the Air and Space Museum, but that's another story.
The real stuff is way cooler than sci-fi.
July 21st, 2011, 12:58 PM #5
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July 21st, 2011, 03:52 PM #6
My brother is (now was) directly involved with the missions, and made the trip down for this last one. It was an exciting and sad time for him. He said that many will loose their jobs now that they are no longer doing any missions. He is one of the lucky ones who will still keep his job. Too bad I never got a chance to see it live.
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