02-07-10 Titusville FL STS 130 Shuttle Launch

[Rick] After going to bed at 0600, we finally got up around 1000. Basically we lolled around all day with Betsy taking the car to Sears and other places for window shopping.

Around 1700, Gregg Addams and his lovely wife Lynda paid us a visit on the boat. Gregg works in Change Management for BB&T and he and his wife had driven down to see the shuttle. Since he is following our blog, he knew we were at the Titusville Municipal Marina. It was great to talk to someone from the past and catch up on BB&T in Wilson. Here is a picture of Rick and Gregg.

I watched the Super Bowl while Betsy napped. I thought the game was one of the best ever. Congratulations to the NFC South Super Bowl Champs, The New Orleans Saints. On on their first Super Bowl try, no less.

Around Midnight, we went over to the viewing area again for the next try of launching the shuttle. There were many less people there tonight. Just one side of the road was used. As before, people milled around, slept, set up cameras and waited for the news. An hour before liftoff, the chance of a "GO" was only 50%. Weather conditions in Titusville were fine, but there was some concern about the 3 abort sites. At least one of them has to have acceptable weather in order for the launch to happen. So we were on edge right up until the final minute.

Then the magic time arrived...0414. Suddenly on pad 39A, a huge fireball filled the night horizon. The Endeavour Spaceship, carrying 6 brave souls lifted into the night. Even though they were rising, it was perfectly silent. As the spacecraft lifted, approximately 75 seconds after liftoff, an enormous roar filled the air. It was exactly like the roar on the simulator we experienced two days ago. The flight lifted to the Northeast, entered some clouds and continued into its planned orbit. Below are the pictures in the sequence we saw the flight.

Launch pad 39A before liftoff



Clearing the tower

The Roar Begins from 8 miles away

Entering the clouds

Break in the clouds

The shuttle, now going 17,500 mph and entering orbit

Once it was out of sight, we got in the car and had a much quicker exit than the night before when the crowds had been so thick. We were in bed by 0500, and slept in this morning.

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