Sunday, March 15, 2009

~ We have lift off ~

Space Shuttle Experience

Okay, we are on the stands at the Banana Creek Viewing Site; this is the viewing site for VIPs; in this instance, that means us … LOL! This is about 3 miles from the launch pad. The crowd is all so very animated because this launch has been put off 5 times, we are so excited, proud, and a little nervous about being there too! It’s almost like a party crowd.

So once the shuttle begins its lift off, you see the big plumes of smoke billowing up around the shuttle as it begins its upward move to space; you don’t even hear the sound at first, it kind of rolls across the water toward you and then you begin to feel the vibrations, your clothes actually begin to vibrate before anything else and the roar hits you. If you chance a look at the water, you will see the fish start jumping up out of the water and the sound waves move even through their living environment.

It is awesome; did you know by the time the shuttle has been in the air for 7 minutes, it is going 14,000 mph – can’t even imagine that!

Wouldn’t it have been so totally awesome to be there to experience with great event!

WELL, that is how we feel too!

We came home Friday night late. Once the Wednesday launch was scrubbed; and then the Thursday launched scrubbed, they would not authorize the travel/hotel expense us to stay the additional time to see the launch which took place FINALLY tonight at approximately 6:45 CST, but we were there in our hearts – if that is possible, we watched it in our living room. Only two people from our group of 65 stayed.

We were both so disappointed, I actually think I was more disappointed than G. But we had a great time otherwise. I learned more about space travel and NASA in one week that I would have even thought possible! That is where I gleaned most the information in first of this blog and some of it was just my imagination ... the fish thing is true though.

Our hotel was fabulous, it was like an Italian village, with outdoor cafes, shops, water taxis, etc. Oh, and every evening at sunset, they had an Italian singer serenade the crowd from the balcony of the lobby. The lobby was actually on the 3rd floor, so when you are sitting at the sidewalk cafes, the serenade is coming from above. Bellissimo !

Gary with Astronaut Dottie Metcalf Lindberger (scheduled to take flight in 2010)

Me with former astraunut Jon McBride; his last flight was scheduled after the Challenger disaster, which was deferred due to the that horrible event, he never flew another shuttle mission, he was also on the first crew with a woman crew member.

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