Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Yes, what would Spock do?
He sure as heck wouldn't laugh at us ... not unless he was under the narcotic effect of spores from that weird lily on that weird planet.

I suppose he would just raise an eyebrow quizzically at our fascination with near Earth space "exploration" and space stations that serve no real purpose except to suck money from planetary exploration.

Spock wasn't there in the parking lot of our school on the day of the most recent shuttle launch, so we can only imagine his view of things.
I sent out an email that morning reminding teachers that the launch was that afternoon and the weather conditions were about as good as it gets for viewing. When the time came, I almost missed it myself due to the pile of paperwork I was shuffling.

I made it to the parking lot with about two minutes to spare, and then, there it was!

I think all of us who happened to be in the parking lot that afternoon were thrilled by the sight of the shuttle tearing across the sky.
I know I was.
I've watched everything from Apollo Saturn V's to the current space truck and I never get bored with them.

Below is a short video taken from our location, about 150 miles from the launch site. The narrative is provided by random folks in the crowd.


Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

I love looking for the shuttle when it launches. I wait for lift off and run outside and look up for it. If I'm really crazy I'll set the alarm for the early wee morning launches! That is a great picture that you got.

Have you ever checked out this website:

It gives you the dates and times that the space station can possibly be viewed from your city. My next sighting will be 12/24 between 7:35-7:36a. Pretty cool!!


Anonymous said...


I remember the first time it re-entered. KABOOM....the whole house shook. Scared the crap out of me. My neighbor and I both ran outside and waited for the houses to fall down. Then I realized what had happened!


Buzz Kill said...

That is a cool thing to see in your back yard. If I saw anything like that here in South Jersey, it would most likely be an incoming ICBM.

threecollie said...

Cool! Another part of your world that we in the North have never imagined. I liked the commentary!


Floridacracker said...

The night launches are really cool at the beach.
I run outside too!

Duck and cover.

Winter with it's clear humidity free skies is the best time to see these from our location.

lisa said...

Cool! That is one thing that you do have going for you living in Florida:)

Hurricane Teen said...

My physics lecture was paused for a few minutes to watch this launch...All 40 of us and our professor gazing out the two windows of our 4th floor classroom...Melbourne is a great place to view shuttle launches :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow! You got a much better view than I did and I'm only about 40 miles away. We had clouds between us and the shuttle launch site.

Great photo!

TROLL Y2K said...

I can see them from Troll County but LOVE seeing them up close.

"No real purpose"? Dude...

Caroline said...

Jealous, jealous, jealous!
I'd have been out in that parking lot with you.
As a kid my folks would keep us home from school till the space mission of the day launched and we had seen it on tv in northern NY, then we'd go.
Saw every Mercury, Gemini, Apollo launch with awe.
A trip to Houston and the Johnson Space Center as an adult was a thrill. Seeing the capsules, the booster rockets and Mission Control was awesome.

Sayre said...

I have lived here all my life and NEVER seen a launch. I need to remedy that one of these days!

Deb said...

I really don't understand the purpose of an international space station either...why don't we figure out how to work things out on our own planet first! Rant aside, that must have been fun to watch.

Floridacracker said...

I would say one of many! No snow tho, dang it!

You ARE in a great spot!

It was as good as it gets here! Beautiful clear crisp day.

The ISS is a big waste of time and money. It doesn't force us to stretch our boundaries, it's got a very limited lifespan, and it's more of a feel good international cooperation showcase, rather than real space exploration.
Heck, it's barely out of the atmosphere.
It should have been built on the moon.The science value would have been 100 fold.
We've lost valuable time putzing around with the space hotel.

My Dad used to load us up and head down to watch the Apollo moon shots. I can never repay him for that! It was so amazing.

It's a PR project.
I want us to go to Mars and the moon... and more rover type bots to the harsher bodies.

Thunder Dave said...

Oh yeah of course you get perfect weather conditions for this launch! I remember how you qued the cloud machine to prevent us Yankee's (temporary mind you) from viewing the last one! ;-)

Floridacracker said...

I forget my own power sometimes.

robin andrea said...

That is quite a sight, fc.

Floridacracker said...

It's amazing what we can do.

Ericka said...

very cool.

if you get a chance, ask a german about the moon landing. the typical answer was eye-opening.