You may have seen it on the news; last night at approximately 6:36 pm was the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour. This was the first launch of Endeavour since 2002, and also was a bit historic as it carried Barbara Morgan, who was Christa McAuliffe’s backup for the “Teacher in Space” program back in the eighties. Barbara actually came to the area I work in sometime last year with one of the other crewmembers from this mission and talked to a few of us for a bit. She’s got a very interesting history with thhe astronaut program.
You may remember a post from January where I wrote about an OMS pod we had just finished working on. Last night’s launch carried that pod into space for the first time in over five years. Normally it doesn’t take so long after we finish working on one for it to go up. but this launch was much delayed due to hail damage to the external tank early this spring, so it sat around for some extra time.
I am just happy that it was a safe launch. It is hard not to hold your breath and worry as space travel is still inherently very risky. We were at dog training class during the event, but everyone stepped outside to see Endeavour off. I hope thhat I can always appreciate watching such a thing. Even in this county where there are regular rocket launches, I feel lucky to get to see a little bit of history each time. I can really watch with a sense of pride now as I have put so much into the processing of this orbiter. Let us hope for a safe, successful mission all around.