Friday, December 12, 2008

Shuttle-747 landing | Good thing I'm not lazy

Shuttle Endeavour and its NASA transport, a 747, turns toward Cape Canaveral as it reaches the open ocean.

I knew it was supposed to happen, but my laziness was getting the better of me.

I woke up today, and The Flame Trench, FLORIDA TODAY's space team blog, said shuttle Endeavour was due back at Kennedy Space Center around 2:15 p.m. Weather forced the orbiter to land Nov. 30 in California on its return trip from the International Space Station. It had been riding on a 747 for the last few days en route to KSC.

The Flame Trench said low-level clouds could hinder the view as the piggybacking shuttle came in for a landing. I didn't want to take the chance of driving to the coast and coming up empty.

So, rather seeing a tremendous site, I wanted to drink my coffee. It was 2 p.m. when I got a text message from the space reporters saying that the shuttle would take a route along the beach, giving spectators the best view possible. And the clouds had cleared. But still, I didn't want to give up my coffee.


Then I thought, TRAVEL MUG!

It was perfect. I dumped the coffee into its new container, grabbed my camera and sped for the beach near Patrick Air Force Base.

I arrived, and cars were everywhere. I had not foreseen the popularity of the occasion. Most of the people who made it were old; everyone else was working (except the losers, like me, who work nights).

Some old people saw a plane and said, "Look, there it is." False alarm.

Some younger people saw a plane and said, "Look, there it is." False alarm.

Some other people saw a plane and said, "Look, there it is." Third time's a charm.

The 747 and Endeavour crossed perpendicular to the beach. I couldn't have picked a more perfect spot. It then turned and paralleled the shoreline the rest of the way to the three-mile landing strip at the space center.

Paralleling the beach.


Wordnerdy said...

I considered heading out to the beach but had a few more stops to make before returning to the downtown area and picking up BBG. So I saw the plane fly over the Gannett building while in Julie L.'s office. We heard it, then ran to her window. By the time I got back out to the car, the plane and shuttle were parallel to the coast.

Cool, cool, cool. I've already mentioned the coolness on other sites. But it was super-exciting. Cross your fingers that I'll soon have a job with a front-row seat to that sort of thing. :)

Anonymous said...

I've seen 3-4 of those in m time in Melbourne. Always exciting/impressive.
So you are looking for a job that'll put you CLOSER to that scene? Hmmm... The paper will miss you, I'm sure.