I watched the shuttle go up from work this morning. I'd like to say that I'm completely plugged into world and local events and KNEW it was going up, but that would be a lie. I happened to notice that it was set for a 11:15 launch on MSN at work (I was going to look at our corporate website for a problem, no REALLY I was) and thought, hey, that's cool. Shuttle launch.
Shuttle launches give me a little bit of nerves but still it's pretty freaking cool stuff.
From our distance it's really like seeing a BIG jet trail, you can't SEE much of the shuttle at all, just a bit of the exhause flame (looks like a bright light) and all of the exhaust. As we watched and waited looking in the general direction it should be going up everyone was trying to remember exactly where, and the unfortunate point of reference in the group was Challenger. "We could see Challenger over here....."
And we watch and check timepieces.....and wait and then, more northerly than expected
THERE IT WAS.
Jets sometimes don't really look like they are hardly moving way up in the sky. Not so the space shuttle. That bitch moves. HUGE billows of exhaust come out as it flies into the sky faster than anything else we can see (we're by an airport so we do have a point of reference on objects in flight) and the group becomes like little kids - all big grins and happiness that it went well.
It's gone in seconds, it just vanishes into the atmosphere and we vanish back into our workplace........a return to the Hive.
In completely unrelated news.........the spouse sent me this site which I think it a riot.