Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Amazing Launch

Living where I do, I am fortunate enough to be able to see the launches of the space shuttle as well as any rockets that are launched from Kennedy Space Center. We've watched launches from the beach as well as a few other places around town ~ although we can actually see them from our house. Since we don't have too many launches left we decided to get a bit closer this time.
We drove over to a park in Titusville which is right on the water across from Kennedy Space Center. DSC05919 You can clearly see the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and the shuttle launch pad is just to the right of it.
We got there about 4:30 for a 7:43 launch time. We found a nice spot right on the water ~ brought a picnic dinner of subs from Subway as well as grapes, carrots, chips, etc. The kids played on the playground and we all tossed some balls around.
Before too long, the park was pretty packed. DSCN1042
We talked to a few of the people close to us. The family right next to us was visiting from Canada. Almost all of them were from out of town and had never seen a shuttle lift off. Not sure why but I feel very proud showing off "our" shuttle launches and am happy to answer their questions.
It was a beautiful day and a beautiful launch. The shuttle went up just about 10 minutes after sunset. Here is the initial "firing" of the engines
And here is the shuttle just a few seconds after lift off DSC05928
This picture does not do the sight justice but you can get an idea of the trail from the shuttle as the sun still up just enough to shine off the smoke and if you look just to the right of the smoke you can see the shadow cast by the shuttle and smoke.
This is the separation of the solid rocket boosters DSCN1052
We were able to see them fall all the way down.
All in all it is a great experience. One I hope you all have the chance to see before it's too late.
There is another rocket being launched tonight which we will most likely watch from home.


Bella said...

Not only do you have the awesome SUN factor, you get to see rocket launches too! I want to move! Be there when we retire..hubs wants to move there too!

Trish said...

It's been a long time since I've seen a launch, and as much as I want to see another- I'd really like for Maddie to see one one day. I know if I give her a few years to get a little older, it will be something that she will never forget. I remember seeing launches when I was about 4 years old.

zizzybob said...

We got to see the launch all the way down here in Ft Lauderdale. It was not as spectacular as what you saw, but still very exciting even after all these years of seeing launches.

Miss Healthypants said...

That is sooo cool!!--I hope to see that someday, too! :)

Anna said...

Very cool pictures. I would love to see one in person!

Jeremy Cox said...

wow, that one picture looks like a sunrise.

mom23boys said...

We'll have to try to get over and see one if we're not too late. And the best thing is, we wouldn't have to miss Nathaniel's birthday party to do it.