Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Aaaaand, They're Off!

The Space Shuttle was finally able to get outa here yesterday afternoon.

Lovely Wife and I went over to 'the beachside' to the barrier island off the shore here, to a city just north of the Melbourne Causeway with the spiffy name of Indialantic. They have a nice new beach park over there called Futch Park. Actually it is Howard E. Futch Memorial Park at Paradise Beach but that's a bit much for this ol' Louisiana public school educated boy to get his mouth around. Or my fingers in this case. As slow as my drawl is, I can probably type it faster than I can say it.

But I digress.

Anyway, here are some pics from the park and the shuttle launch. These are straight out of the camera, except I made them smaller for uploading.

Picture #1: Gratuitous scene (in living color!) depicting how pretty the day was.

Picture #2: A wide angle shot for perspective, but you can see the flame of the shuttle's engines dead center, just above the horizon.

Picture #3: Shuttle's movin' on up.

Picture #4: Shuttle's way up above the clouds now.

Picture #5: This one I obviously modified. I took one of my telephoto shots, blew it up as big as possible yet holding a little detail, of the solid boosters releasing from the shuttle. You'll have to click and enlarge this one to make any sense of it.

This was such fun. We just left the house about 1:45pm and then drove up A1A and were able to park in Futch Park's lot, though it was full and we invented a new parking place. Stood there on the wooden ramp down to the beach from about 2:15pm until the launch at 2:38pm.

Everyone on the beach was cheering, clapping, and yelling for them to make it. It was cool to see so many people out to cheer the guys along.

By the time we got back to our car and turned on the radio, the shuttle was over Europe already. They played the commander advising NASA that they were in their preliminary orbit. Jeesh. Took us longer to get to our car than for them to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

I then grilled a bunch of stuff and we ate ourselves into paralysis.

Good times, good times.

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