Friday, November 27, 2009

Video | Shuttle's thunderous arrival and a missed chance

Click on the "HD" button in the right corner (so it's red) to watch in high definition.

Another drawback of working the night shift is getting into gear early in the morning. It was especially difficult this morning after working later than usual on Thanksgiving night.

With my STS-129 mission badge for press access to Kennedy Space Center, I could have watched space shuttle Atlantis glide into a touchdown at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 9:44 a.m. Instead of watching the spectacle from 12 miles away in Titusville, as usual, I could have been standing next to the runway - as close as a human can get to a shuttle landing.

Instead, my alarm was set on low volume, and I slept through the six o'clock hour when I had to wake up and travel to the space center. Journalists are required to arrive at the news center no later than an hour before the landing. Unfortunately, I wasn't even awake an hour before the landing.

As late as it was, I wasn't even able to make it to Titusville either, where completely clear skies would have afforded some kind of a view. I was relegated to setting a tripod on the porch of my apartment and recording the shuttle's twin sonic booms as it entered the airspace over Brevard County. The sound was louder than usual, and it actually shook the camera (the first time I ever heard this, it woke me up). That's only a consolation prize, though, as I missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This is the view I would have had, were I able to wake myself up.

No comments: