Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Space Shuttle Launch

This is a picture of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on the launch pad that we took on Wednesday, November 11. Atlantis left earth at 2:28 pm on Monday, November 16. It was carrying over 30,000 pounds of equipment and supplies to the International Space Station. Among the cargo, were butterflies that will be monitored to see how the develop in space. Also there are hundreds of worms which are being studied to learn more on the effects of weightlessness on the loss of muscle tone in the astronauts. The shuttle is expected to dock with the International Space Station on Wednesday.

We did not take this picture. It is the Atlantis, seconds after liftoff at Kennedy Space Center.
This was our first view of the Atlantis. We were about 15 miles away from the launch site. It looked like a big firey mass in the sky. The flames were about four times as high as they were wide. And the smoke trail was about twenty times the length of the shuttle. This picture was taken about 5 seconds after liftoff.
The Atlantis contines to climb.
This was approximately 10 seconds into the launch.
The Atlantis goes in and out of clouds.
Here it is starting to arch towards the ocean.

The climb is leveling off a bit.

The solid rocket boosters have now been released and the shuttle is now soaring towards space.This was our last view of the shuttle as it disappears from site. What an awesome experience. As soon as the shuttle disappeared we jumped in our car to get to the airport on time for our late afternoon flight home. As we were driving, there were so many cars parked along side the highway watching the space shuttle. Restaurant parking lots were full, but no one was inside. Everyone was standing out front looking up toward the sky. For a few brief moments Titusville stood still as everyone was focused on just one thing. People were slowly returning to their cars as we drove past. What an awesome day it was.

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