Thursday, November 4, 2010

Early Hours and Late Nights

Ah, the storm clouds are gathering around our noble efforts!
The Shuttle is currently set for liftoff on Thursday, but the weather is not looking good.  And we are all really hoping that it beats the odds and gets off the ground soon.  I have already had to change my plane ticket once, and my credit card isn't looking forward to having to do it again.

The past two days we've been entirely focused on setting up our remote cameras all around the launch pad.  They will be stationed in different areas and triggered by sound-activated remotes.  One of our days started before the sun came up.
As you can see, all the press and media people have to line up their gear on the ground so bomb-sniffing dogs can come through and check out our bags.  After we've been cleared, we gather our stuff and hop in a van to be escorted to our locations.  We have two different 3-D camera setups, as well as one camera doing video, one doing Infrared, and another doing hi-speed single shots.  Thanks to our trusted guide, Roy, we found this great location on the back-side of the shuttle near some old decommissioned train tracks.   There are giant gopher turtle holes all around this area.  One big turtle even came out to see what we were doing. 
This evening we were all bussed out again to document the RSS retraction.  I should mention that everything associated with NASA has to be in acronym form.  So I don't know what RSS stands for, but I'm guessing it means Really Slow Structure.   This is when the Shuttle is uncovered and the structure is moved out of the way in preparation for launch.  It's was pitch-black again when the Shuttle finally started peeking out!

And here is how it sits right now! Discovery really looks amazing out there in the pitch-black wilderness, while being lit up by the giant xenon spotlights.
In just a few hours NASA administrators will make a decision on if the weather is going to be too severe to launch.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it happens today or tomorrow.  As much fun as I'm having, I do have to get home and work on a few other projects.  I have one eye on the Shuttle, and one on the calendar :)

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Jeffrey, awesome pictures and awesome story! It's been fun being able to see how it is all going!!! Doc

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