[134/365] STS-132: Atlantis Shuttle Launch
Friday, May 14, 2010 - 2:20 PM EST
Note: I still recommend Mission Control on SomaFM for your listening pleasure. Live STS-132 feed mixed with ambient music for the duration of the 12-day flight. So awesome.
Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off successfully from Kennedy Space Center this afternoon. This will likely be its final mission, and what a way to go! Perfect weather, beautiful blue sky, and relatively few snags during countdown. We drove down to Titusville for my first close viewing of a day launch.
Space View Park was packed when we arrived about 3.5 hours before liftoff, and the view from any available spots was obstructed by trees. We found room at the end of the adjacent tidal bay with a straight view to the launch pad. It looked like there was a bit of dry land a few feet down at the base of the wall along Indian River Avenue, and we figured I could walk a bit north to ensure that the covered dock didn't block my view of Launch Pad 39A. That didn't work out so well... and the process of discovering this served as entertainment for the crowd and left me with smelly mucky feet! Fortunately, some generous onlookers allowed me join them them on the wall in the coveted area. I sat next to a man and his son who came all the way from London, England to see Atlantis leave Earth for the last time. At least a hundred spectators waded out onto a sandbar in the water to get a similar view.
Needless to say, the launch was incredible!!! : )
UPDATE: Featured in the 5/15/2010 Flickr Blog. Thank you!!!