Mar 11, 2008- Launch night (or morning)

I ended up staying after all. It was a long night, but things went well. At around 1:30, we wandered outside to find a spot. Since it was my last night with the Vehicle Ops at the VAB, we found a place called the grassy knoll which is a small bump of grass between the VAB and OSB 2 just outside of the press site and has a nice view of the pad. (Blurry picture of Press Site and checkpoint)

One of the guys in the crew parked his bike (a Ural made in Russia with sidecar) there and heated some water for coffee using a Sterno can. It was a nice night, about 68 degrees with a light wind and an overcast layer which would later keep us from seeing anything after launch.

Mark didn’t care much for the flash

About a half hour later, two of us decided to grab a spot on the outside staircase at the LCC (Launch Control Center) which was a little closer and elevated. Much better vantage point– could see the Turn Basin viewing area,

and a nicer view of the pad. We are probably about 4 miles away from it. Would be hard to get much closer than this and if something happened, you wouldn’t want to be.

The tricky thing about catching a launch with your camera is that you have to be ready to take the shot before the vehicle clears the pad or else the light from the boosters does this to your picture–

I am out of practice taking night pics. There wasn’t much to see after about 10 seconds because it penetrated the cloud layer and you couldn’t even see the glow through the clouds. Traffic wasn’t too bad for the time of morning and I got home around 3:30. May get a shot at working on the runway again– will check into it today.


About John Sep

Former Space Shuttle aerospace technician and private pilot now looking towards the next great adventure. Soon to be heading home from my overseas assignment! Transfered my blog from MySpace to here so check my older stuff for info and pictures from my days in space shuttle processing- lots of behind the scenes stuff! He drew pics, flew planes, fought fires and helped launch people into space - what will he do next?
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4 Responses to Mar 11, 2008- Launch night (or morning)

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