On Facebook, I just posted that I’ve now seen all three extant orbiters sit on the pad.

And that’s true. But it sort of misses the point.

While Endeavour was remaining firmly ensconsed on Pad 39B, Atlantis roared into the heavens from 39A. So on the one hand, my streak is maintained — I’ve seem a shuttle not launch three times out of three.

On the other hand, though …


And I’m so glad I did. So glad I persevered. So glad I finally saw it. So glad I don’t have to wonder. So glad I don’t have to think, that would have been cool.

And it rather was.

Very bright. Very loud. You could feel it from where we were watching.

They had us stand at T -3 minutes for the national anthem. Talk about being proud to do so. And I was, once again, very proud to wear the badge marking me as part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. What an amazing privilege.

So, after years and multiple trips, it’s done.

And, the only thing I was left to wonder was — are there any more night launches left?

3 Responses

  1. Major congrats on seeing Atlantis fly. I hope we can see that elusive night launch together.

  2. What does the new round pin say? STS-125? Saw someone else who was there wearing one too. I was hoping it said My First Shuttle Launch, or something like that.

  3. To be honest, I don’t remember. Something like Shuttle Launch Visitor. Not mission-specific — nor first-time specific; we had to turn them in afterwards. They just showed where we had access to be. (They were shuttle-specific, though; I wonder if they’ll let the people who attend the last shuttle launch keep them.)

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