April 27, 2011

Endeavour launch, photo by NASA

The launch of a space shuttle is something fairly routine in Central Florida. We have witnessed shuttle launches from many locations in Orlando, including our yard. Nighttime launches leave a trail of fire that lights up the sky with an orange glow. While daytime launches are less spectacular, the trail of fire and exhaust is still visible from Orlando, miles from the launch site. Very cool.

Friday's launch of Endeavour is special because President Obama, First Lady Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha are attending the launch at the Kennedy Space Center. Also attending is  Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) who is recovering from injuries after being shot in the head in January while attending a public meeting in her home district.  Giffords arrived in Central Florida earlier today.  It is her first trip away from the rehabilitation center in Texas where she has been under going therapy for months.

Rep. Gifford's husband, astronaut Mark Kelly is the commander of the mission.

Forty other members of Congress and 250 staff members are also attending the launch, which will be one of the last of the shuttle launches, and the final launch for the Endeavour.  Up to 750,000 Florida residents and tourists are expected to brave traffic on the coast for a close-up view.

We may be there too this time, since it may be our last chance to watch a shuttle launch from up close. The bad thing about trying to attend a shuttle launch is that there is no guarantee that the shuttle will actually launch.  I took my classes to view one years ago, and it was postponed due to technical problems.  Still, we had a great day exploring the exhibits at the Kennedy Space Center.

Everyone said that you can feel the earth shake and hear a tremendous roar when the shuttle takes off. We'll see!


Anonymous said...

Obama could have been the next JFK.

Most liberal Dems oppose NASA and our Space Program in general. Obama canceled the Constellation program and with it the United States' mission in Space. Instead, as said by NASA's Director on Al Jazzera (an anti-American, Jihadist news outlet) NASA's new mission is Muslim outreach. The Constellation program was to replace the dated Space Shuttle. Now that NASA has been shelved we will be hitch hiking on Russian rockets for one hundred million per head, seat. Soon we'll be begging the Chinese for a ride.

Our former Space Program inspired Americans of all ages to pursue science and math. Now, NASA's new mission and top priority is Muslim outreach.

JPL, Orlando, Houston - these cities thrived on Space exploration. Tens of thousands of jobs are now doomed. Where is our Congress to stop this madness?

robert said...

What a bunch of bullhockey.