We did it!

Click the photo below for a slideshow.


Well, we finally launched. It was a beautiful sight, and you can see it in pictures and on TV, but the one thing you can not reproduce is the sound. It is delayed for quite a few seconds after launch, due to the distance, but then comes a rumbling like nothing you’ve ever heard. My favorite part is the crackling noise it makes a few seconds after the rumbling starts. You can even feel the noise in your body. They do the countdown and and announcements over the loudspeakers so anywhere on the space center you can hear it. We climbed up the ladders outside of one of our buildings where I work to get a better view. The slideshow above is made up of a couple of launch photos I took and the pictures Andy took at work last night after the Rotating Service Structure was rotated away from the shuttle, better exposing it.

  1. #1 by Bob Mottram on July 26, 2005 - 4:58 pm

    That’s an awesome slideshow. It must be a pretty good feeling to know that you’ve contributed to something like that.

  2. #2 by The Josh on July 26, 2005 - 5:11 pm

    Incredible pictures, very impressive! I’m in awe and very jealous of you!!! I really want to see a launch in person some day, but living in Maryland and seeing the propensity for delays, it’s a bit tricky. Maybe someday. In the mean time, thank you for a great view!

  3. #3 by Valerie on July 26, 2005 - 7:15 pm

    That is the most incredable thing ever. You are so fortunate to be able to be involved with that.This may be the dumbest question you’ve ever heard, but doesn’t the fire coming from the bottom of the shuttle burn anything?? I see grass all around and I would think even the metal would melt with that much heat.

  4. #4 by Jen on July 26, 2005 - 7:30 pm

    Val, the base of the launch pad is all concret and there are huge blast trenches. I imagine some of the grass must get singed, but the pad itself including the struture makes it through okay. It is not a dumb question!

  5. #5 by Johnny Menace on July 26, 2005 - 7:42 pm

    they need someone more exciting to do the countdown.

  6. #6 by Valerie on July 26, 2005 - 7:43 pm

    Good to know. Thanks Jen. And thanks again for sharing with us. I’m soooo clueless on space but so facinated with it.

  7. #7 by grafxdude on July 26, 2005 - 7:49 pm

    Cool to “know” someone involved on the inside of this humungo project. Thanks a ton for posting these great pictures. One thing that I have never noticed before are the two “clips” holding the shuttle wings. Perhaps I’m always looking at the nose. Speaking of which, it’s cool to see all of the tiles in that shot of cockpit.Cheers! USA! USA! USA!

  8. #8 by Stacey on July 26, 2005 - 8:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing the pictures! It’s so cool to see the shuttle from a different perspective than the ones we see on TV time and time again. Have you gotten the opportunity to take a look inside?

  9. #9 by Jen on July 26, 2005 - 8:17 pm

    Stacey, I have spent many a day in that uncomfortable beast! If you scroll down this page you can see some pics of me in the crew module of Columbia.

  10. #10 by Katy on July 26, 2005 - 9:45 pm

    WHOO HOO…LET’S GO FOR DRINKS TO CELEBRATE. On you of course….my husband is only a specialist.LMAO

  11. #11 by Stacey on July 26, 2005 - 11:00 pm

    That’s awesome! (And I feel like a true moron for not seeing the pictures of you inside Columbia … ) It does look quite incomfortable!

  12. #12 by No-L on July 27, 2005 - 12:40 am

    Great pics! I am so excited that it finally went up, YEAH!!! I love the night shot, I went one time to see it go up at night and it was so awesome. To see it light up the sky is so incredible. I guess it is a great feeling around there with it going up and all. CONGRATS!!!

  13. #13 by Trée on July 27, 2005 - 1:06 am

    Awesome. Thanks so much for sharing.

  14. #14 by Ricardo Almeida on July 27, 2005 - 3:24 am

    Great photo!Congratulations for your work.

  15. #15 by Jeremy on July 27, 2005 - 9:05 am

    So any insight as to what was falling off during the launch? I heard on the news this morning they are doing some checks with a laser guided robotic arm or something… I hope everything is ok.It was great to hear they launched! WOOHOO!

  16. #16 by patrice on July 27, 2005 - 9:50 am

    so exciting. I loved the slideshow. my favorite shot was of the underside of the shuttle – we don’t often get that kind of vantage.you must be proud, and rightfully so.

  17. #17 by ramblin' girl on July 27, 2005 - 11:52 am

    very cool! thanks for sharing your pics! when are they scheduled to land?

  18. #18 by Applewhite on July 27, 2005 - 1:26 pm

    Jen,Are there really UFOs? What do you hear around the people that you work with?

  19. #19 by Anonymous on July 27, 2005 - 5:49 pm

    applewhite:There are really UFO’s, we have a few hidden in hangars at the space center, but that information is secret so don’t go telling everyone.

  20. #20 by allison on July 27, 2005 - 6:43 pm

  21. #21 by Jen on July 27, 2005 - 7:29 pm

    I fixed your link, Allison. Thanks.

  22. #22 by Rob on November 12, 2005 - 1:44 am

    Really enjoyed the slide show. Sorry for bumping an old post… it’s new to me. 🙂

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