Today at 11:38 am Discovery lifted off on its way to the International Space Station. I have seen quite a few launches now, the last seven plus years worth, but they are always special. I can’t see a launch ever seeming routine.
There is always excitement in the air on launch days. Even those workers that have spent their entire careers in the various space programs get excited about launches. You won’t find anyone inside during a launch except those who have to be, for the most part.
I remember when I first started working at the space center, there was a guy in my shop who didn’t care in the least about launches. He couldn’t even be bothered to go outside or even stand in a doorway to watch. He said he’d seen launches and didn’t need to see another one. That is sad. But he is the only person with that attitude that I have ever encountered out there and he’s a little wacked in the head. Personally I think that a person like that shouldn’t be permitted to work on the space program, because there are so many people out there who would jump at the chance and really appreciate it.
I have included Andy’s video of the launch. It isn’t perfect, but it is better than my video, which was really sucky. The durned thing is just so bright it overwhelms the equipment and makes those white lines on the screen. My video did the same thing, and it would probably have made you dizzy because I shook the camera so much.