Friday, November 5, 2010

This Could Be The Day!

It's the middle of the night.  I should be sleeping, but I can't because I'm too excited.  The launch is set for today and, barring any bad weather, I think it has a good chance to make it. All the photo on this post are extras from the past few days that I thought I'd share.
There is something I haven't talked about much before, because I'll be crushed if it doesn't happen.  But if Discovery does launch today, then I'm supposed to photograph it from on top of the VAB.  For those of you that aren't space geeks, that is the gigantic Vertical Assembly Building that is such an icon at Kennedy Space Center.  I grew up down here, and I've seen that amazing building my whole life.  It's one of the largest buildings in the world, and it is such a symbol of everything that is amazing about the space program.  I never imagined in a million years that I'd have the rare opportunity to stand on top of it. 

The shuttle HAS to lift off tomorrow or I'm afraid I'll miss it.  My flight back to Chicago is set for Saturday afternoon, and I'll never make it to the airport if I stick around for a Saturday launch.
Most of this past day was spent working on our remote cameras that are stationed all around the launch pad.  They look very similar to the one you see on the left below.  The cameras sit inside a handmade housing, and the whole thing is anchored to the ground as securely as possible to protect against the violent shaking of the launch.

There are escape cables for the crew in case there is an emergency.  And here is where they end up.  I was told that the first net slows them down, and the second net catches them.
And this last photo doesn't have anything to do with the launch.  I just thought it was a beautiful view that nobody ever gets to see.  This is the beach just east of the launch pad, with the old train track that isn't used any more.  It's a wonderful image of Brevard County that is never shown, and really isn't known about.
Hopefully the next blog posting I have for you will be after the launch!  Keep your fingers crossed~

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Enjoying the amazing photography and writing. Cel

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