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magikbilly

Tonight's Shuttle Launch - Anyone Else See It?

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Hi All,

tonight's was especially bright, super fast and low. I did not expect to see it but the sky cleared in the last 15 minutes. I have seen more than I can recall - both at night and during the day, and the low daytime flyby in the 80's as well. Anyone else in the east stay up to see it? First night launch since 2006.

MB

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Funny you should ask. I drove down to Robert Moses State Park tonight after work. I had it timed perfectly. It takes roughly 7 1/2 minutes for the shuttle to reach the coast of NY(launch 02:28). I pulled over near the water tower, walked up a dune and naturally, a State Parks dept officer pulls up with lights flashing. I explained why I was there, he thought I said shuttle to dredging barge off shore! He finally understood-asked me to leave. I had one minute to go (02:35). Never saw it-and the sky over the Atlantic was clear.

Odd thing is, I saw a shuttle when I lived on 24th street in Chelsea. I went up on the roof a few minutes after launch, and voila, there it was tracing south to north across the eastern horizon.

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Hi Irish,

that is a shame

I have it down to a science - it is about 8 minutes and 50 seconds from launch that is is visible from whare I am on LI and this time I brought out a red digital clock and the timing was perfect but boy was it moving tonight! Quite low and an earlier than usual turn over the Atlantic. Flickered - more like blinking - on and off. Whole thing lasted maybe 12 seconds. Very bright tonight and very yellow. Last one I saw a daytime launch. It amazes me how few people are looking UP and know what there is to see. Last month was a most beautiful eclipse I am usre you saw.

Best and sorry your evening was ruined,

Eric aka MB

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Back in the 70's I used to see the Apollo launches from clear across the state of Florida, on the gulf coast side.

Out here in California, we see an occasional missile launch out of Vandenburg. And when the shuttle lands at Edwards, we can often hear the crack of the sonic boom as it passes overhead.

I remember when the original plan was to build a second launch port for the shuttle at Vandenburg. They built the pads, the gantries, just about everything, before the politicians killed it.

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In the 90's, I was in a frame shop in Sherman Oaks, California when a shuttle landed on the west coast-- it's sonic boom suddenly blowing out the shop's front window. Talk about HIT THE DECK!!! Afterward, the owner sheepishly admitted that he'd recently had it replaced with "bargain glass."

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I only live 50 miles from Kennedy, so we see the shuttle take off and hear it land just about every time. I was going to go to Port Canaveral to view this launch (my viewing spot is 10 miles straight shot across the banana river to the launch pad) but opted out due to weather doubts. My friends went, however, and my buddy chris took these two videos from his cell phone.

The first part shows the artificial sunrise

[url:28osauh5]

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and the second part shows the shuttle disappear into the clouds

[url:28osauh5]

[/url:28osauh5]

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I go to launches quite often at Cape Canaveral. There is nothing like being right there, seeing it leave the launch pad, and actually hearing the engines.

Was going to go down to Daytona today to see it, but my car is being maintenenced. Nonetheless, it can still be seen very well right from my Ma's backyard, since we are only about 50 miles away.

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It was a beautiful launch! We watched it leave the launchpad on TV, then about 15 seconds after clearing the launchpad, we went outside just in time to see

it clearing the trees in the backyard. The sky was so good, we were able to see the solid rocket boosters seperate from the shuttle, which is quite rare

from this distance during a daytime launch. Traces of the exhaust trail lingered in the sky for about 20 minutes after launch. Well done!!

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Hi Al,,

Enedeavor launches tonight - 7:13 EDT plus about 8 minutes 40 seconds or so to be visible on LI so good luch at 7:21:40! :)

Eric

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Hallo again MB!

Yes, ive seen countless numbers from my driveway, and one from the centre itself. I saw John Glenn launch back in '98, only one iv'e managed to see. The last three attempts for Endeavour (Including tonight's) iv'e prepared myself to drove over to see. Hopefully I'll be able to go over tomorrow, but I am not sure. I do plan on seeing the Ares 1-X 5-Segment SRB with dummy upper stage launch Next month though :)

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Back in the 70's I used to see the Apollo launches from clear across the state of Florida, on the gulf coast side.

Out here in California, we see an occasional missile launch out of Vandenburg. And when the shuttle lands at Edwards, we can often hear the crack of the sonic boom as it passes overhead.

I remember when the original plan was to build a second launch port for the shuttle at Vandenburg. They built the pads, the gantries, just about everything, before the politicians killed it.

My grandmother lived in Coco beach during the latter half of the '70's and most of the 80's. Before the sound supression system was installed after STS-2, all of her china fell off the wall and her windows were broken by the rumbling of the engines.

I have some images of the Shuttle Enterprise mated with the lighter SRB's and mock ET that I can post later. Remind me later and i'll switch PC's to do it.

Oh and sorry for typos ect, late and tired, still having jetlag from yesterday.

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I was working at Cape Kennedy at the time of the Apollo-Soyuz flight. As the rocket wasn't going all the way to the moon they replaced the lower section with a tower, as seen in this shot from April 25, 1975:

saturn-1b.jpg

I thought the launch was loud, but someone who had been there from the moon flight days told me it was nothing compared to the full Saturn V stack when it took off. I can't imagine what that must have been like.

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I grew up in the Orlando area in the 60s/70s and the neat thing about Apollo was

that you could feel it rumble for almost 2 mins before it took off. The best

shot I ever saw was Apollo 17's night shot I was in New Smyrna Beach.

I lived in the city of Cape Canaveral while stationed for the Navy at the cape

and the most "scary" launches were the secret AF Titans. If ya didn't know

it was scheduled you thought an earthquake hit, especially the late night ones.

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Nasa Engineers were left with little choice but to call it the "Milkstool"

When I saw Glenn's 1998 Launch, I remember seeing the shuttle disappear from view in the sky before I could hear it, then it was weird because the craft that made it was no longer visible!

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Lets see if this post will work.

Vandenburg was considered for Shuttle Launches in the early 80's because it was situated at such an inclination as to where a polar Orbit was possible. This would help top secret Militairy Payloads, as the entire would could rotate under them.

The launch site for the shuttle on the West coast was much different than that on the East coast. Whereas the entire shuttle stack was mated inside the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) and rolled out to the pad at Kennedy Space Centre, at Vandenburg, the entire rocket was assembled on the launch mount itself.

The first picture shows this.

The Mobile Service Tower and Shuttle Assembly building would roll towards the launch area and would assemble the stack on the launch mount. Then the Payload Changeout Room would roll into the payload bay of the orbiter to insert the cargo, usually a military satellite. This is the equvalent of the Rotating Service Structure at Kennedy.

post-4303-124751685462_thumb.jpg

Here is the Enterprise moving from Vandenburgs Runway to SLC-6 In preparation for flight verification tests. Note the hinged traffic signs and the graded hills to make room for the massive wingspan.

post-4303-124751689892_thumb.jpg

The dream within reach: The closest Vandenburg would ever get to hosting a real Space Shuttle.

post-4303-124751698293_thumb.jpg

The loss of the Challenger was a major blow to why Vandenburg was not used as a launch site, and in 1988, just a few months before the Return to Flight mission, SLC-6 was officially ordered mothballed.

One lasting affect the decision to launch from Vandenberg had continues to thiv very day. Up until Challenger, most shuttle flights were assigned numerically by the order the flights came in. I.E. the first shuttle flight was STS-1 the second STS-2 et. al. This ended with STS-9. The system designed to designate which flights were from Vandenberg, and which were from KSC were as follows:

STS 62-A

STS = Space Transportation System

6=Fiscal year (198 6 )

2=Vandenberg AFB Launch Site (1= KSC)

A=First flight of fiscal year.

Once Vandenberg was dropped, KSC shuttle launches had already been numbered and assigned, so NASA was forced to launch those missions already assigned over those that werent.

Instances like tonights planned launch, STS-127, is infact the 127th Shuttle launch. Byt May's Launch, STS 125 to the Hubble, was the 126th launch.

Sorry for any information overload :)

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Watched the Shuttle launch on TV this morning, still a very cool event in my eyes.

Seems to be a bit more "hoopla" surrounding this launch, whether its because its so close to the 40th anniv and all that stuff, I dont know.

Also enjoyed the pics here Bill and Joey, keep em coming.

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Heres the launch from 15 July, seen right down the street from me:

post-4303-124775720365_thumb.jpg

And this was from the 15 march launch of Discovery, to show you how exceptional they ca be sometimes.

post-4303-124775753271_thumb.jpg

Just for the heck of it, there was a stowaway on the March mission that eventually shook free and was incinerated by the SRB exhaust:

post-4303-12477577416_thumb.jpg

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The photo of yesterdays launch isnt what I thought it was, so heres a nicer one taken midway through ascent.

post-4303-124775855396_thumb.jpg

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In 1964 the Visitor Center was very different from the slick multimedia version they have today. Back then they basically salvaged old pieces of equipment and put it in a room where you could happily touch it to your hearts content.

Here's the Explorer I firing console:

1964-explorer-1.jpg

and the Freedom 7 console:

1964-freedom-7.jpg

and an exterior display:

1964-rockets.jpg

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Incredible shot Bill. If I recall in the mid 60's NASA converted an old warehouse into a small museum (the one that housed the consoles in your picture) and put those rockets outside it. The single building quickly grew, and today, the original building now houses the "Mad Mission to Mars 2020"

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