Wednesday, May 13, 2009

NASA Shuttle Launch & Mike Massimino

When we moved to NY we became acquainted with one of my mothers friends. They belonged to the same church organization. In March of 2002 her son - Michael Massimino - was launched on the space shuttle SST109.
The whole family were in Florida for the launch, so we volunteered to video tape the launch and all Mike's walks to fix the Hubble Space telescope. (This was before DVR's!) Of course most of the walks were in the middle of the night, so Gene set the alarm to be sure all recorded well.
Mike grew up in the same town I did - Franklin Square, Long Island, NY and attended the same high school - H. Frank Carey.
Saying that the whole town was so proud is an understatement. A few months later he returned to our hometown and was greeted by a parade and several events. It was then we met him. What a nice person he is - full of fun and a decent family man.
Fast forward to May 11,2009. SST125 Atlantis was launched to return to the Hubble to do work on it for the last time. And Mike is aboard this flight also and will space walk at least 2 times.
Unfortunately we were not able to be in Florida for the launch, but we were there in March for another space shuttle launch that went to the space station.
Below are pictures from that launch in March 2009. It was just after sunset at 7:45EDT so the lighting was awesome.
We were able to be on a beach in Titusville - directly west of the launch pad. This is 'our' beach just before launch. It is hard to guess but as the crow flies we were 6-8 miles from the launch pad with just water between us. It was a Sunday so there were so many people there, that it took us 4 hours to go 40 miles back to Orlando.
LAUNCH - It was silent. It took 8 seconds for the roar, blast off noise to reach us. So that is why I said we were about 6 - 8 miles away. The crowd was silent until we heard the blast off and then they erupted in cheers and whistles. Absolutely brought tears to all our eyes.

Is this too amazing or what?

Separation - see the tiny little white dot? That is the fuel tanks separating from the vehicle. Also notice the blue line coming out on the right side. We all can't figure out what caused that.

Some of the sun reflecting on the vapor trail and the blue line is still there. And if you look really close you can still the white dot on the left side almost across from what looks like a loop in the vapor trail.
As I write this SST 125 just snagged the Hubble and will be working on it the next few days.

BTW these photos were taken with Sony Cyber-Shot 8.1. Some were taken with the zoom all the way out.


frstyfrolk/Cyndi said...

I love your posts and your photos while you are traveling. I lived in an RV for 3 years and loved every moment even though is was the worst our lives have been. See, you can do Ebay anywhere, although I was not at the time.

You hints are very helpful, I found you on facebook where we follow each other. Smiles, Cyndi/frstyfrolk/ByLightOfMoon

Louise said...

Thanks Cyndi,

So far the RV and eBay have worked out just fine. Biggest challange is international shipments when we are on the road and towing the van.

drifing arounda city to find a post office is a bit daunting. Luckyily they seem to time themselves so we can send them when we are planted in one spot.