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Written By: Gary on April 4, 2010 No Comment

So I’ve been in Florida for a few hours or so. There was an incident at the airport where they closed down baggage claim and car rentals so I had to wait a little bit to get a car (they bypassed the luggage and got that to us); I heard they were bringing in the dogs (to sniff for something?) but never saw them from where I was sitting. So I got my car, picked up a few essentials (a case of water and a 6-pack of Coca-Cola).

The weather is awesomeI’ve already had my Easter dinner so now I’m heading to check in the hotel, grab a shower, get my stuff organized and then head over to the Kennedy Space Center. I have to be there by midnight to catch the 6:21am launch of STS-131 the Space Shuttle Discovery!!! Very excited about this. I’ll have hours and hours but it’ll be dark so I’m not sure what I’ll have to post but some photos or videos might show up while I’m there goofing around…

Written By: Gary on March 6, 2010 No Comment

So people used to say something like “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?”, for most of my life I think the closest I could come to that was “Where was I during the attempted Reagan assignation?”, it’s not the same thing, but it’s a President being shot so it’s what came to mind for me in those situations.

sts-51l-challenger-2.jpgTwo other things that stick in my head were the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The Challenger sticks more in my head mostly due to the imagery of it’s explosion 73 seconds after the launch.

Clearly for many people, “Where were you on September 11th, 2001?” will be that type of question. Personally, that one sticks in my head mostly because I saw much of it live. But then I assume the attacks was designed that way, one crash so that everyone was watching and then additional crashes while so many were already watching. And then so many watched the towers fall so even if you missed the earlier part of the disaster there still parts for you to catch live.

It’s generally disasters or death that people remember: The Oklahoma City bombing (1995), the London Bombing (2005), when John Lennon was shot, when Princess Diana died and things along those lines (FYI, I don’t remember when all these happened). That’s sad that these are the parts of life that people remember and talk about. Keep in mind, it’s not when the event happened it’s really about when you heard about it.

Maybe because disasters are always disasters to most people but great things to one person aren’t always a great thing to another person…

If you can think of some “Where were you?” events, please add them to the comments!

Written By: Gary on March 3, 2010 No Comment

This is a time lapse of the roll out from the VAB (Vertical Assembly Building) to the launch page, I’d guess it’s about an hour of moving per minute. I’ll admit it’s not the most exciting time lapse video but it’s a lot faster than the live video was last night (it was about seven hours until attached).

STS-131_patch.pngJust before midnight last night, space shuttle Discovery began its slow roll from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A. Riding aboard the crawler-transporter, the shuttle completed the 3.4-mile trip and was secured to the pad by 7 a.m. EST.

— NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Here’s the direct link to the roll out video.

So I’m pretty excited about this, not the roll out itself, but once it’s been on the launch pad a few more days and the figure out if there are any issues it’ll help firm up the launch date. I figure once the GOES-P mission goes off this week that’ll help too, I don’t think there is anything else big in the meantime.

Written By: Gary on September 11, 2009 No Comment

image650862516.jpgI can be anywhere in the country and watch the space shuttle land live on my phone. It amazes me every day.

I can’t imagine what the next few years will bring :)

PS – I’m writing and posting this from my phone after capturing the image while watching it live!!!

Written By: Gary on August 28, 2009 No Comment

The Space Shuttle Discovery is on the launch pad right now. This always excites me and still gives me chills when it takes off! You can watch NASA TV live on their site. At this point, they are in a hold and I think they are still supposed to launch in the next hour (11:59 PM EST).

sts-128.pngI’ve always wanted to see a launch, I don’t know why I’ve never made this happen. I was supposed to go a few weeks ago to see this launch (STS-128), but they moved the date so it didn’t work out. I’ve got to make this a priority over the next year before they stop the shuttle launches.

It’s been 25 years since this ship’s maiden voyage, it was August 30th, 1984 when Discovery had it’s first launch! It was the third orbital vehicle in service (OV-103) and is now the oldest running shuttle. Wow!

Once they introduced the shuttle, I always thought they’d have some way to take passengers. I always assumed that’d be airplane type seats in the bay, like envisioned in the 1970’s James Bond movie Moonraker (anybody have an image of this?).

So let’s just plan to catch a shuttle launch in the next year, okay? Anyone have any tips on going to a launch?

Written By: Gary on September 24, 2006 No Comment

AtlantisissHere’s a very cool photo of the ISS and Atlantis passing each other last week. In this picture they’re about 200 meters about (that’s about 650 feet). Be sure to click the link and scroll down to the larger very impressive picture (that’s the sun in the background).

Found at Don’t Forward.

Written By: Gary on July 27, 2005 One Comment

So I didn’t hear any news about there being some small debris falling off at the launch yesterday.

NASA said it would know by Sunday whether debris that fell off the space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank during this week’s launch damaged the spacecraft as it blasted into orbit. – CNN

They make it sound like it’s not a big deal. And if this wasn’t the first flight in a long while I probably wouldn’t think twice. But I’d really like the flight to go 100% perfect so the program can get moving again.

Understand, I want all flights to go perfect but this flight (and the next few) are extra important.

One of those things I’ve always wanted to see is a Shuttle Launch. The problem is that delays can make a short trip to Florida turn into a several week trip. So I think after they get a few under their belt I might have to take a vacation down that way. Anyone got any tips the the best way to see a launch? Any stories…??

LATER: “according to current data, Discovery is in good shape for a safe return home”. They are grounding future flights until they get more of this figured out…

Written By: Gary on July 26, 2005 One Comment

The Space Shuttle went off as planned today. I was just finishing up at the doctor with two minutes to launch so took a few minutes to watch. It was a beautiful and thrilling thing to watch as always…

I watched until the solid rocket boosters and fuel tank had been disconnected and the ship was traveling over 17,000 mph (that’s almost 5 miles per second) I never get tired of seeing that.

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