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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:09 am 
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As we all get totally depressed at the thought that the USA is about to retire its one and only human rated launch vehicle with no replacement in sight for years (and that only if the politicians stop their pork barrel attitude towards defining its successor) here's a reminder that NASA, and the academics who propose and often build the experiments, will continue to do amazing work. Click the image for an 11 minute video:
    Image
It may only be an animation but, for me, it conveyed a hugely powerful sense that there's a whole world out there, beautiful and utterly deserted. One day, I hope, it will be a home where children grow and families live but that rather begs the question of which nation, or nations, will make the leap?

Bob.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:31 pm 
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Hi everyone, I've arrived in Florida to some pretty stormy-looking weather. In fact as I write this is chucking it down with rain and full-on thunderbolts and lighting over at KSC - although it's strangely dry only a few miles south in my current location...

I've just updated my report on the equipment I'll be lugging to the Causeway in less than 24 hours time - so long as it's not scrubbed between now and then! I hear about a possible reschedule for Sunday which could be workable...

PS -welcome on-board Kelly and Robert! I've updated my equipment page, but as for socuting a location on the causeway, I've no idea as I've never been and we don't have access prior to the launch. You're also at the mercy of where your bus drops you off, and of course who's already setup there. I'm just hoping to get a decent spot at the front... Hope to see you there or around KSC in the world's longest queue in the middle of the night! Bring a raincoat...


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:04 pm 
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A bitter/sweet moment. Courtesy of NASA:
    Image
Bob.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:16 pm 
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Quote:
is chucking it down with rain and full-on thunderbolts and lighting over at KSC - although it's strangely dry only a few miles south in my current location...


That's how it goes in Florida, Gordon :roll:

Congratulations on finally getting to see the launch!


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:35 pm 
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Congrats Gordon!! looking forward to the upcoming photographs!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:47 am 
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Gordon...finally, I hope you found a grand spot...that all the equipment you lugged worked perfectly...and that the moment was sublime for you...anticipating your report and photos...best of luck, Steve B.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:11 am 
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Thanks everyone!

The launch was absolutely awesome, albeit slightly surreal after so little sleep. Indeed I've now been up for 39 hours straight, so it's time for bed now! Before heading to the land of nod though, I've focused sufficiently to upload one of my photos and videos of the launch and popped tham on the bottom of the page about the launch - I hope you like them!

Later tomorrow I hope to write-up the story about the launch day - and once back at home I'll try and make another video about it all!

In the meantime, a big hello to everyone I met today in KSC and on the NASA Causeway - you really made it a very special day!

Night-night!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 4:29 am 
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Hats off Boss!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:51 am 
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The launch was so amazing and we are still in shock that it actual went up on time. We got some sleep after being up for 35 hrs, well worth every crazy minute!

Talk about a small world - with 5,000 people on the causeway, Gordon set-up his gear within 10 feet of us.

Gordon, it was great to meet you today and look forward to being new members on this site. Have a safe trip home.

Kelly & Robert


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Gordon, it's great that your dream came true finally. I am thoroughly following your reviews and especially this thread and am anticipating your story and photos and film of the launch of Atlantis.

When the news came yesterday that it was launch day, my thoughts went to you, knowing you were right there, witnessing it in person.
The incredible sounds that a launch creates ... it must be an uplifting feeling to actually hear them in person.
Then the unthinkable of actually leaving for space ...

A part of our lives has come to an end with the Space Shuttle era. They must have accompanied your childhood and youth, too. And soon it will all be history.
My wife being an American can tell of having seen the never-saw-space Enterprise flying really low in a circle over her house in a piggyback ride on top of a carrier plane in 1983 for a special exhibition at an air force base.

Space travelling is a mind-blowing thing. And with it's (US-American) end something is missing.

Greetings from Germany,
HTG


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:01 am 
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Very well said HTG - couldn't have said it better myself!

And congratulations Gordon on finally witnessing one of the most awesome spectacles on this planet!

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:38 pm 
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Thanks everyone!

I just finished my full report on the launch and added more photos and videos - I hope you enjoy it!

http://www.cameralabs.com/features/STS- ... otography/


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:04 pm 
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Great work Gordon. I never got to see a launch myself. I was there in December 1999 for the Hubble Rescue mission launch. Unfortunately the launch was delayed, so I missed it.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:34 pm 
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Thank you very much for sharing your experiences, Gordon! :-) Hope you found enough sleep by now.

It was really entertaining to get to know that the sun came out just 30 seconds before the launch and you had to change the exposures ... what stress in this situation! It made me laugh because I felt for you. ;-)

The fact that you were about six miles away from the launch pad and that the sounds of the launch would reach you (figured that out) about 29 seconds later ... that amazed me truly.

[edit: changed the course of the following two sentences for better understanding]

It would be wonderful if you would find time to re-tell your story in a video one day. With stills and film and your experiences.

Because of the silence at the start from your viewpoint I was wondering if it wouldn't be a nice thing to show the start twice: one time as it is (silent) and then as one is imagining it (with sound).

Hopefully you'll get to see more lift-offs in the future.

best regards, :-)
HTG


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:36 am 
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Nice to know you enjoyed that experience Gordon.The video of the launch is giving me an error when I try to play it,so maybe you will need to sort that out.

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