Friday, July 8, 2011

Finding Nirvana......A Shuttle Launch

I finally got to see something I have wanted to see since the first launch 30 years ago - the launch of a space shuttle. Friday July 8, 2011 will be a day I will remember for many many years to come. Two days before the launch date, a friend of mine called and said they were going to the launch with an arranged group and had a spare seat in their car. I couldn't say "YES" fast enough. The evening before the launch had me driving from home to the Space Coast knowing that there was only a 30% chance of the launch. Friday morning had us driving towards the facility watching patches of blue appearing in the sky. It was still touch and go the whole morning until the T-9 minute hold which lasts for about 45 minutes. During that hold, NASA announced that weather was a "go" - there were no technical issues. So, at 11:29 - 2 odd minutes after the scheduled launch time, Atlantis took to the skies as STS-135 - the final shuttle mission. For me who has followed this program since it's inception, this was the ultimate, Nirvana, whatever you'd like to call it - it was - a launch - my first ever, and the last ever - nothing to take that away....


Capt. Schmoe said...

One item on my bucket list which will remain unfulfilled. I did get to see a shuttle landing early in the program when they were landing at Edwards AFB. As I was not into photography at the time, I didn't take any photos.

Great shots, I'm glad you were able to see and shoot it.

Tim G in MN said...

Good for you Mark! BTW... I will be flying into FLL on Aug. 2 on DL1403 from MSP with a group of Boy Scouts headed for the Keys. Wave if you are out and see us come in! Return is Aug. 10, same flight #.

Tim G in MN