Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our Last Space Shuttle Launch Adventure

That a crazy two days! Lauren, Eli, Brian, and I left work in Tampa at 6pm on Thursday, drove to Orlando, picked up our tickets to the launch (because they got lost in the mail-so mad), dropped off two ticket to two lovely Germany fellows- they came all the way to Florida for the launch, went to a hotel for 2 hours to sleep, then we head to the buses at 12:30am! The bus in Orlando drove us to the Kennedy Space Space and we arrived at 3:30am.
Normally Brian and I go to bed pretty early, so this was a bit tough, but I think my excitement took over because I was zippy, so was Eli! This was Lauren, Brian, Eli, and my first time at the Kennedy Space Center, which is strange because we all grew up in Florida. Eli announced that he was more lucky than Brian because he got to go at a younger age than Brian haha rotten tot!
Becky and Eli at NASA
We only had a short time to look around Kennedy Space Center, but the time we spent there was awesome! My FAVORITE part was the Rocket Garden! It was absolutely amazing! All these actually used rockets standing straight up in all their glory - amazing! I loved watching Eli bouncing around SO excited, looking at everything, asking questions - awesome!
Rocket Garden - Kennedy Space Center
Then we waiting in a HUGE line to the bus for a little over an hour. This was a test of patience let me tell you! It was 5:00am and everyone was so tired and everyone was wanting to get on the bus! Thankful we made it, Lauren and I cracked each other up in line. :) I am so thankful to have such a wonderful sister and friend, she really is the best! I just love her so much!
naps before the launch
Once the bus go to the Causeway, the sun had risen and we were ready to go - it was 7:00am! We set up our chairs and towels. And everyone took a nap, even me for 30 mins or so! I was just to excited so I got up and crocheted a bit. Eli fell asleep 5 mins after he sat in the chair til 10 mins before the launch, he got a good nap! Brian bought us breakfast, those Lauren and I ate pistachios and twizzlers on the bus. I didn't want to drink a ton of water, because I did NOT want to use the portapotties, but I think I was a bit dehydrated - Never had to use the portapotties though haha!
Eli and the countdown clock
Brian woke up Eli because the shuttle was only 10 mins from launch! He was so sleepy, but he was a good sport! We were so nervous all morning because the weather was terribly overcast. Over the speaker NASA said everything looked good, but my dad texted me saying CNN said it didn't look good. Oh CNN and their dramatic news coverage! So the countdown began and at 30 seconds they stopped it and then again at 9 seconds - my heart sunk then it was a GO!!!!
Last Shuttle Launch
It is the most amazing site I have ever witnessed! The sound and the light! The light was incredible! I think we all teared up. I had such a feeling of pride, proud of what exactly I'm not sure - the USA, the world, the knowledge the NASA scientists have, how far we've home as a civilization, who knows! But I was all choked up! It was sad too. I really want to believe this won't be the last launch, I want to believe that somehow we will send people into space again. At least I hope. Here is my video of the Launch!
july 8th 2011 Shuttle Launch
Once we were on the bus again, the tour guide for the bus, Stephan, made us all sing Rocket Man, and I really teared up then hahaha Lauren laughed at me haha! I was overly tired and emotional haha she had good reason to laugh - I laughed too and we both sang Rocket Man :)
Now the 4 1/2 hour bus ride back to Orlando was the WORST 4 1/2 ever - it only takes 1 hour normally haha. We inched along in the most uncomfortable bus seats - good thing the Launch was amazing haha, but man was that ride rough! Completely worth it though! We sleep 13 hours last night!
Here's my Flickr album of our Launch Adventure! I'd love to hear your launch stories from the past! Leave your stories in the comments! :) 
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Miranda said...

I watched the launch on tv, but nothing would beat it live. What a wonderful experience - minus the bus ride home. :)

Out on a limb said...




One smiley just can't capture my face right now.

taryn said...

i woke up just in time to watch the launch on friday! i saw your tweet about being there and i was totally jealous!!! it was really awesome watching live though anyway! great pictures!

when i was in hs we took a trip to orlando and saw a space launch from was pretty far but you could still see the light and of course the was still awesome and i still brag about it, haha.

i like to think that we'll be back in space again's def. not the end. it can't be!

nova said...

I'm so jealous! What a cool experience. And really great photos too.

knitxcore. said...

it was crazy to watch on tv! it must have been cool IRL.

mel said...

awesome shots! I am so jealous that you go tickets! i haven't blogged about it yet, but a couple friends and I drove down from Canada to see it. We slept in a parking lot in Titusville to watch it across the water. I wish I could have seen the countdown clock!
When I blog mine I"ll link to you, the pics are better up close.
It was great fun though!

Lauren Calderon said...

That is so amazing!!!!

chelseybell. said...

so cool.

i have no more words than those.

Amber said...

Such amazing shots Becky!! I had to chuckle when you said that you teared up:) I do that all the time for the strangest things and it usually patriotic things!! So I am right there with you... I would of been teary eyed. LOL!

nicole said...

I love your photos and your video. Glad you guys got to witness the last launch!

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I'm so jealous! What a cool experience. And really great photos too.

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