Monday, March 16, 2009

Discovery Launch

Russel and I finally made it to a shuttle launch after being here for five years! But the shuttles are going to be retired next year, so we had to go while the going was good. This launch had been delayed 5 days and wasn't a night launch as earlier planned, but this sunset launch of Discovery was a colorful extravaganza against the lavender sky. We managed to find a spot on the shore of Titusville, across the Intercoastal Waterway from the Kennedy Space Center and the shuttle liftoff complex. I apologize for the blurry pics, but my little digital was pedal to the metal and doing the best it could at it's farthest range. Because of the water between us, we couldn't feel the Earth shake, but we could hear it off in the distance, but I'm sure Russel heard it louder than me. This first pic is right after they lit the engines. Good thing I managed to keep my jaw off the ground to take this!

Here, Discovery has cleared the pad and where I started to hear the roar in the distance.

Looks like the sun as Discovery keeps climbing!

She's starting to tip over toward the northeast, still all in one piece!
Continuing to pull off to the northeast, blazing quite a trail as she prepares for separation.

Horrible pic, but definitely separated from fuel tanks.

Sun shone bright on loopy trail way up in the air. Vagaries of breeze make trail look like Discovery did a loop de loop, but NOT!
Awesome trail that remains after Discovery is long gone. Setting sun made trail look like Discovery was still up there!

Last pic as we were leaving. Don't know if the trails would have been as colorful in the dark, but these at sunset were really cool.

It took us and thousands of others more than an hour and a half to actually get out of Titusville. Next time, we will leave earlier and actually get out to the KSC so we can feel the Earth shake and I can hear the roar better. We'll also plan to spend the night someplace like Merrit Island so we don't get home so late. Our evening started with Chicago deep dish pizza at Uno's in Daytona Beach and ended with a glorious lift off. Can't wait to go again! Russel took 48 pics with our old 38 mm camera and telephoto lense. Taking them today to be developed and put on a disk and will share the good pics when I get them.
Thanks for visiting! Take care,

(-: ¸.·´* .·´*¨¨)) -:¦:- ***
-:¦:- ·· ((¸¸.·´* .·´*((¸¸.·.·´ *-:¦:- ... :-)


Bill said...

You've done good in all aspects of this site.. I woulldn't know how to blog if I tripped over it.
Brother Billy

~* Tracy *~ said...

Wonderful pics Miss Kathy. Would have been so exciting to be there to experience it. Hope you can get to whenever the next one is. Can't wait to see Russel's pics too :)

Deelite said...

Omgoodness a comment from brother Bill! It is so nice for all of us to see these pics, that live in other states. We appreciate your time and trouble, and sure enjoyed all these pics.

Michelle said...

Nice job Kathy. We could see the Discovery from our back yard and you are so right (about what she asks) The beautiful colors the sunset made on the trail. We had to pop our chins back up, too.