Thursday, December 07, 2006

Night Launch Weather Blues

The first night launch of a shuttle in a couple of years is scheduled for this evening. The only "cloudy with rain" forecast for this whole week is also tonight. Arrrrghhh. Maybe they will wait and go tomorrow night.

On a clear night, I can watch a shuttle launch from the open area down by my "pond". The Cape is over a hundred miles away, but the night launches are so brilliant that it's still amazing here on the other side of the state. You can see it climb up and then arc across the Atlantic.

My Dad used to take us down, from St. Augustine, for Apollo launches. Watching a Saturn V take off a few miles away across Mosquito Lagoon is a memory that sticks with you. From that distance, it's a silent launch for a few moments as the rocket lifts into the air and then suddenly the thunderous sound wave washes over you ... wowsers! I was about 10, but it's all seared into my brain.

I know where my Dad will be if it goes off at night. He and Mom will park over at the beach or maybe the bridge over the San Sebastion River where the view is wide open.

Of course, if it does go off at night, and if it's clear, and if I'm out there and not tied up somewhere ... I'll try for a photo.

16 comments:

threecollie said...

Wishing you clear skies and lovely weather....and a quick shutter finger, so all we northerners can "see" the show.

pissed off patricia said...

If it's not cloudy I can watch it from my patio. Looking forward to it! Also I hold my breath every time one of these things takes flight.

LauraO said...

I watched a couple of launches when I lived in Sarasota - one from the Walmart parking lot. Once we drove to about 30 miles from the Cape to watch. They are truly awesome to see.

rick said...

hope it goes off tonight i will be on a northbound train across indian river from the launch.probley less than 5 miles from the pad. wish i could go up

vicki said...

A child of the moon walk era and a graduate of U-M, where astronauts are born and bred, makes me a fan of things aerospace. A number of years ago you could still take a bus right out to the hanger for the shuttles and see them up close. What I remember from that trip was the enormity of the shuttle up and poised for launch. What Abby remembers about that trip is the cute tiny armadillo wandering around near the base.

And now, they are talking about an active moon station 20 years from now. What to make of that, in the relative scheme of things? Hmmm- in any case, I hope you see the launch and it goes off safely.

robin andrea said...

How lucky for you! I've always wanted to see a space launch. They do look so powerful and awesome. Hope you get to see and photograph it. That would be very cool.

Floridacracker said...

ThreeCollie,
Grey and drizzle this evening, but the NASA clock is still ticking at this time.

POPatricia,
I thought you were very close. I hold my breath too.

Laurao,
Extremely awsome.Even at a distance.


Rick,
Cool. Keep it on the tracks.

Vicki,
We should have had that moon base 30 years ago ... the silly ISS was a big expensive diversion.
Abby has a point, baby armadillos are cute with a capital C.

roger said...

i'd watch for sure if i were closer. good luck to all.

i got up at something like 4 am when i was maybe 7 yrs old to run outside and watch, from just south of san francisco, the flash of an atomic explosion in nevada.

Anonymous said...

Duller is kinda glad it was delayed, coz he forgot. Hard to say whether we'll be able to see it from here. IF it makes it. They're forecasting a 40% chance of favourable weather.

Floridacracker said...

roger,
wow, i can't top that one!

SophieMae,
We'll just try again. I hope they keep it at night tho.

Alan said...

We finally got DSL in our rural area a month or two ago and last night I learned I could get a live feed from NASA for the launch. Got it working just in time for the launch to be scrubbed!

When I was a kid my mom would take me to watch the Apollo launches from the banks of the Indian River. Any rocket launch at night is a sight to behold.

.....Alan.

Floridacracker said...

Alan,
Still hoping for DSL out here in Pure Florida.
Ditto on the night launches! Looks like tomorrow night!

Juli said...

Yeah, we were planning on driving south for the view, but alas, it's rescheduled for Saturday night. I've lived in FL for 16 years and have never seen a shuttle launch. It's on my life's list of things to do, so maybe Saturday night will allow me to check that one off.

Floridacracker said...

Juli,
It is crystal clear here tonight so hopefully Saturday will be similar.

33 degrees at 10pm

Hurricane Teen said...

I can't wait to see a night launch again! It's so amazing how it just lights up the sky as it streaks across it.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

What wonderful memories you have with your dad. I know that you didn't get your launch, but maybe Saturday night. Your description of a night launch sounds very spectacular.