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[PUBLIC] Launch - The Cover Story
October 2013
 
 
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Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 04:18 pm
[PUBLIC] Launch

One of the things I've always wanted to do is see a space shuttle launch. Now there are only six missions left. Its difficult to see, because the launches are so prone to delay, that one can't just go to NASA for a day and realistically expect to see the ship go up. But this is kinda important to me. Manned spaceflight is going away for a while, and while we wait for the Ares to come online, there's this niggling worry in the back of my head that somebody will find a reason to kill NASA before that happens.

So STS-129. I'm going to see it. Its awkwardly placed just before Thanksgivings, and I don't think many people would be able to get the time off, but I have 11 days of PTO left this year and a dream to fulfill.

Tags: , ,
Current Location: Waltham, MA
Current Mood: determined
Current Music: Leslie Fish - Witnesses's Waltz

7CommentReplyShare

londo
londo
A fool who should know better
Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)

I am a little bit jealous.

Let me know if the timing is like Penn Jillette says it is.


ReplyThread
petercooperjr
petercooperjr
Peter Cooper Jr.
Tue, Sep. 8th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)

Surely the view is better via video feed than being in the stands. What is it about being there in person that's so appealing?


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cykotek
cykotek
John
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 01:59 am (UTC)

I think the first reason is one many sports fans will attest to, and that is it always seems just a little more real when you're actually there, even if the view sucks. I hate to ruin my image, but I think it's predominantly a poetic and/or romantic reason as well. The smell of propellant in your nose, the rumble of 7 million pounds of thrust in your chest. The realization that you are watching, however minor, history in the making. Less than 200 times has humanity sent representatives into the darkness of space, and you were there to see the start of one such attempt. The ability, 50 years from now, to flip through your photo album, hold it up to your friends and grandchildren and say "see, I was there".

Also, it's the end of an era. Unless something drastic happens, six more missions, and the space shuttle will never fly again. That's almost 30 years of space-going history coming to a close. The space shuttles have spent almost 10% of their operational existence outside the atmosphere. To put it in a slightly more sentimental yet macabre light, it's the funeral of one of the grand old dames of space flight. I'd certainly rather pay my respects and give her a good send off in person than to watch it one TV.


ReplyThread Parent
mariaklob
That gorgeous vixen
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)

Well said.

The two-dimensional collective memory of TV is nice, but it assigns operations like this the same value we give to videos of cats falling into buckets. Just sayin', the workhorse of thirty years of space operations deserves a little more than that from people who profess to give a damn about technological progress.


ReplyThread Parent
juldea
juldea
-=juldea=-
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:34 am (UTC)

I am way more than a little bit jealous.


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mariaklob
That gorgeous vixen
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)

I'm praying it'll be delayed, oh, say, a week. I'll be in FL Nov. 28-Dec. 5, and I'm not sure I can move my flight to better fit the launch time.

I've wanted to see one of these. But I've also been putting other things first for a while now.


ReplyThread
sirroxton
sirroxton
Adam Augusta
Wed, Sep. 9th, 2009 12:08 pm (UTC)

Hope you do better than my dad. He flew down to Florida to see the shuttle launch three times and got bupkis.


ReplyThread