What MAD missed
Published on October 25 2007
I just thought I'd post a little bit of what Mad missed Tuesday. My family was very fortunate to have been invited by NASA to attend the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery STS-120. My son, my Dad and my Mother were treated VIP style and escorted up to within 3 miles of Launch complex 39B at Banana Creek. I have been to two previous failures to launch so I was really hoping this one would go. Not to mention our Dad was with us and has also never seen a launch even though he has worked with the aerospace industry for many years. It was a semi cloud covered day and we waited until the one hour built in hold was lifted and the count down clock started ticking. At 4 minutes, one of the NASA public affairs workers came over the loud speaker and sang a beautiful version of the National Anthem. When she finished, the crowed cheered and yelled as the clock spiraled down to 10 seconds and the mission controller began the traditional counted down. Suddenly, a burst of smoke and fire erupted on the other side of the bay near the giant gantry as discovery's rocket engines came to life. There was no sound yet because of the distance but that changed very quickly as a rumble that I can not describe began to reverberate in my chest. My mothers comments were "Oh my God! as she put her hand to her chest. Flames poured out of the Shuttle Rocket engines so bright, that it was almost painful to look at it. The Shuttle climbed up through the clouds and burst through the tops into bright blue sky and began its text book roll maneuver and headed out over the Atlantic Ocean. Within about a minute, we could see the solid rocket boosters separate and begin to fall away from the Shuttle which was little more than a speck of light in the morning sky. The tell tale evidence of the beautiful launch clouded the sky as the vapor trail of the shuttle disappeared into space. All I could say was WOW, That was Awesome! It was a beautiful launch and it was incredible to finally see the Space Shuttle Fly in person. But, the best feeling of all was to be there with my son to watch my Dad as a life long wish was finally fulfilled. This is one I will remember for a lifetime.