Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Our SpaceShuttle adventure- days 6, and 7

Sorry we have not been keep up.  Things have been very busy.
When we last left our story  we had camped a wonderful view on Route 1 all day Wednesday, in a place where the Titusville police said we could stay the night.

As our story picks-up: a park ranger came in the evening to say we couldn't stay, and that there was a 'better' place 4 miles north of where we were. So we went from being 4 miles to 10 miles from pad 39A.  We were pretty sad. But did what we were told...

So we ended up near the entrance to the nature reserve. Actually all of Kennedy Space Center is a nature reserve. 220 square miles of it.  How cool is that?

This was our home for the night.  We dry-camped here, (that means we didn't have any hookups, so we lived on what we had in ourVan,) for the night until late the next day.
Notice the space in front of the campers?  That won't be there by launch time.

STS 133, Discovery Launch Day
When we woke up the next morning, the 1,000 or so RVs at the site had swollen to nearly 5,000 vehicles, as the day watchers came in cars. Every available space was used. It was one big launch party.  People were having fun, and generally being nice to one another.  It was awesome.




 
 
 Mommy went out at lunch, and was sad to see that her new spot was at least 10 miles north of the NASA industrial park.  But she could see both shuttle pads. So it wasn't so bad.

Then it was time to get some work done.  Mommy had orginally taken the day off, but an emergency had her in ourVan, coding a break-fix for a client. (Mommy writes computer code to pay for ourVan and our gushifud.)

As the count-down got to 60 minutes, mommy was still working. I could tell she was stressed that she was going to miss the launch.  30 minutes before the scheduled launch, she got it done, she gave us a skritch, and took her camera and binoculars and set out to find a spot.

I mention mommy's stress only because at 15 minutes to launch they had a "hold" because the range system was off-line. Now the range/tracking system is very important because the computers actually launch and drive the shuttle until it gets into orbit.  So the many steps it takes to get there depend on the tracking system to know when to do everything.  If this system isn't working correctly, it could be very bad.  Some poor-smart-guy, had 5 minutes to get the system fixed, or the mission would be scrubbed for the day. This made mommy laugh at her own small stresses. 

The poor-smart-guy did a good job, and at T -5 minutes, the system was up and running. Now I know he couldn't hear it, but a huge cheer went up for him, where we were. Then they all found a place to see the pad. And the crowd got very quiet as radios followed NASA's transmissions.

Mommy had Auntie SheShe on her phone, who was monitoring the status on the TeeVee.  Now she should have known something was wrong, when they started the final count and she didn't see any venting gases on the pad everyone in our group was watching.  But she figured they were just too far away. That's right, kitties, Discovery was taking off from Pad 39A, and she had her camera on Pad 39B.  The really sad part is that 39A was behind the single palm tree in the southern view. Oh well... 

And then, Discovery was off, for the very last time... (click the photos to enlarge)
 

Rocket booster separation
 Kitties, I know it is impressive, but our mommy's face was leaking when she came back!?!

We had a surprise visitor over the weekend, can you guess who it was?

37 comments:

  1. Wow, that must have been quite the experience. We're sure everyone was holding their collective breath, until they knew everything was okay!

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  2. Wow, we are impressed at your adventures! We don't know who visited, but we can't wait to see who it wa!

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  3. Wow that is so cool that you guys get to go and do things like that! We just have to stay at our house, which doesn't go anywhere.

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  4. WOWZA! How incredibly cool and exciting to be there in person! Great pictures! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. It was exciting at our house to see it on tv, so Mom says she knows she would have been beside herself with excitement to be there in person.

    Was the surprise visitor dady?

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  6. Awwww what a shame that your mum had to move from her prime viewing spot!!! And what a last minute excitement with mum having to work right up to the launch!! Good grief!!!

    Yay that she got these fab pics though!!!! Awwwww lovely TK and gorgeous Squashies!! Me and Charlie think your dad came by over the weekend???!!

    Take care
    x

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  7. Exciting, and cool photos, despite having to park somewhere else. You are lucky kitties to witness this!

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  8. I was thinking about you the whole day of the launch and I smiled when it went up because I knew I had friends there watching!

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  9. My mommies' face is leaking reading this! You see, she's a science teacher and thinks this is one of the coolest things ever. She is very sad it's the last shuttle launch. It's the end of an era! Happy for you that you got to see it!

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  10. What a great thing you got to see and experience!

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  11. What excitement to get to see that!

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  12. Wow! What a trip you are having! Meowm got to see one of the shuttles launch a few years ago. She says it ws very cool and it was a night launch too!

    We are guessing your visitor was Daisy? Since you were in Florida this seems like a good guess.

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  13. That was very exciting to be there and see it for real. Was your surprise visitor Ann from Zoolatry? We know they live close to there.

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  14. OH we think you guys are having a great time!
    Did you know we can see the Space launches from our house?
    We especially liked the one night launch that took place.

    purrin
    xoxox

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  15. coolcoolcool!!!

    You kitties get to do the neatest stuff. We're gonna go out on a limb and guess Sandy Claws visited you!

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  16. That musta been awesome to see!!

    Now who was your surprise visitor???

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  17. What an exciting time! We don't have a guess as to who your visitor might be!!!!!

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  18. Wow that looks amazing! When you said Titusville police we thought maybe you'd spent the night in the clink!

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  19. You guys are so SO LUCKY !!!
    How many cats in this world have this trip ?
    Me..Just the trip to go to VET !
    Yes, I know it's SUCK !

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  20. You guys are having so much fun! I wanna come too!

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  21. TK and Squashie...thank you so much for this amazing post!! Oh my cats you had a good spot even will all the other folks there.

    So who was your weekend visitor?
    Safe travels and Hugs Madi

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  22. That looks like even more fun than watching the BERDS owtside! Oliver

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  23. I was so excited to read this. You have such an exciting life. I haven't even seen a beach, let alone a shuttle launch. So exciting to see it going off into the blue.

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  24. Oh wow folks, what a cool adventure! And good thing Squashies didn't get on that cow truck (other post)...that TK is a crafty one!

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  25. Bet that was exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you for your purrs for Mickey.
    We really miss him and it will take
    a while to get used to him not being here.
    Purrs Tillie and Georgia

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  26. What an exciting trip for all of you to watch the launch.

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  27. OMC! Wot incredible adventures yoo have been having! The pics are amazing! And yoor van looks so comfy and cosy! We can't imagine who yoor visitor can be!

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  28. Takes mom back to her old stomping grounds when she lived in Melborne a nd watched launches out of her kitchen window.
    xox

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  29. You live a really really exciting life. That is SUCH a good story about the shuttle!!

    Thanks for stopping by my Blogoversary pawty!

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  30. Wish we had known you were here! We live just down the road apiece (Cocoa) and would have popped in and said "hello"! Shuttle launches have never ceased to be exciting events for us, for the many years we've lived here. It is sad to see this amazing and worthwhile program come to an end. Spectacular, right!

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  31. We hope yoo guys are doing OK and had a nice Easter!

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  32. Wow! What an exciting adventure!! You have done something that the mom and dad here have always talked about doing and they didn't have the chance to go down for a lift off. They have seen one from far away though, does that count?
    So nice to visit with you last night even though it was for a sad occassion. Let's stay in touch!

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  33. Hi, sweet darlins!!!!!!!!!! We just wanted to drop in and let you know we love ya bunches and bunches.

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  34. he guys, we miss you!!! thanks for visiting us but we wants to know how YOU all is!

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  35. Just dropping by to say hi. We really miss you guys!

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