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T - 9:00 and holding (213.2) - Mark's Journal
T - 9:00 and holding (213.2)
Discovery is on Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, in its final planned hold before the last nine-minute countdown leading up to launch. The orbiter is scheduled to launch at 4:50:27pm EST this afternoon, and I'm in front of my TV to watch.

DiscoveryOne of my most earliest memories is of an Apollo mission launch, which my family was nearby for, visiting relatives in Florida when Jeff and I were kids. It was the first nighttime manned launch, and it was past our bedtime, but we were at the side of the road so we could watch as the night sky lit up as if it were mid afternoon.

One of my strongest memories, years later, is being in the VIP stands for the launch of Columbia. It wasn't its final flight, but after the loss of that shuttle, the souvenir mug I picked up at KSC became that much more important. The memory of the launch never fails to get me choked up. You can feel the vibration of the engines, at your core, before you can hear them. This was a daytime launch, but was still visibly quite bright. The sound itself was never overpowering, but the rumble grew and grew.

I don't expect to make it to another spacecraft launch anytime soon, but I do watch every launch I possibly can live on TV.

The countdown is about to resume with nine minutes remaining. You can watch on NASA TV, on HDNET, on CNN, or at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv (I have the NASA iPad app running with HD video, a little over two minutes behind, as well as CNN on the TV for roughly live coverage.)

Current Music: "Discovery is Go."

4 comments or Leave a comment
kaitl From: kaitl Date: February 24th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just saw your post (3:54 local time) and turned on the tv-- didn't see the exact launch, but getting to watch the shuttle before the separation from the rocket boosters :)

Thanks for the heads up!
glithander From: glithander Date: February 24th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been watching using an app on my phone. I try really hard to never miss watching a shuttle launch, myself.
a_c_fiorucci From: a_c_fiorucci Date: February 24th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here from friendsfriends--thank you, my almost-6 year old and I got to watch it live.
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: February 25th, 2011 01:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Great! You're welcome, and thanks for sharing this with your kid. :-)
4 comments or Leave a comment