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The Space Shuttle

2009.04.05
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In July 2007, my wife and I just happened to be in Florida vacationing and the space shuttle was supposed to launch the evening before we had to leave. Knowing the shuttle typically does not launch on its first attempt, I was excited with some hesitation. Well, it launched!! It came down to the last few minutes as the weather in Europe wasnt cleared until then.

We left our condo in New Smyrna Beach around noon on the day of the launch and got a great spot across the causeway. We got lunch from a Subway, some snacks and an ice cooler filled with soda and basked in the sun for about 6 or 7 hours till launch. We also met some great new friends while hanging out and taking in the sights. It was really kinda cool as the whole area soon became like one big picnic-type grounds with all the people.

Hoping to see the launch, we scouted out some locations a few days before the launch. Note the helicopter in the photos that were the NASA Security guys checking me out taking photos. Yes, the helicopter is complete with dual machine doors out the doors. We ended up not going to the famed Space View Park for the launch, but instead drove out the A Max Brewer Parkway almost out to where NASA Security had the road shut down. Right behind we were parked was a public building/boat docks with bathrooms etc. So, it was perfect. Also, after the launch, it was very difficult to get back in towards Titusville and head back north on 95. But, we have been to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge numerous times and I knew if I drove the opposite direction from Titusville out the Parkway that I could work my way north on back roads. That is what I and just a few others did and I avoided all traffic backups.

Last year, it just happened the shuttle was supposed to make a landing while we were there. So, I included some photos of that as well. The landing was not nearly as well attended as the launch, but it was still a great experience.

8 Comments
mrickard I put some notes in the photos for further reading.
mrickard · 2009-04-05: 18:26
laurad789 Spectacular set....thank you!
laurad789 · 2009-04-05: 18:38
oakley Very cool!! You got all stages great!

oakley · 2009-04-05: 19:39
dontblink Great captures! The ones at the moment of launch are spectacular. I also like #19 of the remaining smoke trail. Cool set!
dontblink · 2009-04-05: 20:21
????? I would love to do this! What a wonderful set!
????? · 2009-04-07: 22:56
mrickard I have to say when I was looking through the viewfinder taking the photos right at lift-off, the "fire" was the whitest, purest light that I have ever seen. And the shuttle, with all that thrust, just moved so easily... like it was floating. It was really a great experience. Thanks to you all for looking/commenting.
mrickard · 2009-04-09: 19:56
Shirley Kreamer Mike. This is spactacular..The progression of the photos is great! Proud of all your pictures!
Shirley Kreamer · 2009-04-10: 22:36
facan SUPERB !!!!!!!!!!
facan · 2009-05-29: 13:18
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Views: 429
Category: Travel
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Tagged: space shuttle atlantis discovery launch landing florida nasa
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