Friday, April 9, 2010

STS-131 Launch in Person

STS-131 Contrails
Originally uploaded by neatonjr
If you've never seen a shuttle launch in person but have always wanted to, you only have three more chances before the fleet is permanently retired after 30 years of service.

That was the incentive for me to get up at 2am last Monday morning and drive all the way across Florida to see the pre-dawn launch of Discovery in person. We were in New Port Richey visiting our oldest son Josh and his family, so when I heard about the launch I couldn't resist.

I won't bore you with the details of the trip other than to say it was worth everything... the lack of sleep, the hour standing on the edge of a retaining wall waiting, the hours of driving there and back, even the 2 hours in traffic between Titusville and Orlando on the way home. If you have any opportunity to go, I highly recommend it.

Check out my Flickr set for more pictures. You can also see more pictures here and news about the launch here.

Oh, and thanks to Josh for joining me... that was a great birthday present!

1 comment:

  1. UPDATE: Last year, this image of STS-131 was added to a gallery on Flickr and subsequently selected with other works to be included in a slideshow at the planetarium at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (ROG).

    Earlier this year I entered this shot in the 2011 Astronomy Photographer of the Year, a completion sponsored by ROG. I just learned that it is on the shortlist. Final results will be announced in September. I'll be surprised if it wins but it is an honor to be included.