Thursday, February 24, 2011

Discovery's Last Launch

February 24, 2011 was Discovery's last launch and I was fortunate to see it. To make it even better my daughter and two granddaughters joined me in the park in Waterford Lakes to watch it happen. We weren't alone. At least fifteen other people were watching the event happen. It didn't disappoint.

There are many ways to watch a shuttle launch; you can go down the 528 and head towards Cocoa Beach and get stuck in traffic and park on the side of the road and have a great view with a lot of other excited people. You can do the same on Route 50 towards Titusville with the exception that on Route 50 you pay no tolls and you can stop for ice cream in Bithlo or around Chuluota. That was my plan, but my daughter thought is was best to stick closer to home and not risk getting tied up in traffic. So we chose the next best thing, a wide open space in the park here in Waterford, and in the company of a lot of nice people. It was nice to share the excitement of T-5 minutes, -2 minutes, then seconds, and then seeing Discovery rising up behind a tree and being the first one to spot it. It always amazes me how beautiful that Shuttle looks as it streams out brilliant gold as it makes its way into space. Then suddenly there is only that ephimeral white plume that is left behind as the Shuttle disappears into space.

That is just what happened today when Discovery went up for the last time. The mission is far from over. The crew has many things they need to accomplish before their work is done. We are all so happy that they all made it up safely and we hope their return is just as uneventful.

Godspeed you'll!

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