Monday, February 15, 2010

Shuttle Launch

The reason for us visiting Florida after the first reason, which was to relax and catch some rays, was for us to see the very last night shuttle launch. We left our resort at 8pm and arrived in Titusville before most of the crowd. We found the perfect spot along the highway just north of the town and pulled over where there was some construction. We had such a perfect view of the launch pad. If we wanted to we could see it from our van. We brought snacks and drinks and conveniently parked next to a portable toilet. We flattened the seats in the back, made a bed and we camped out in the van with our in-laws until launch time which was at 4:39 AM. We got out of the van about 15 minutes before after listening to the radio station. They stated that everything was fine and that it was still "A Go". We got out with two sleepy kids in arms and walked closer to the water to watch. With only 10 minutes to launch we heard that the launch was scrubbed until the next day. What a disappointment. It took us over an hour to get out of our parking spot and we didn't get back to Orlando area until 8 AM. It was a long night with little to no sleep.

With small children it's next to impossible to catch up on that sleep during the day so we ended up not returning the next night. It might have been too dangerous to attempt that again with no sleep. The news said that there was only a 60% chance that it would actually launch that night, but at 4:15 it did launch and we dragged the kids out of bed to run out to a clear area to see it from our resort. We had seen a night launch before from there and had an idea where to go and where to look. It would have been nice to see it close but we at least saw it. I got some sleepy, blurry pictures of it. The first picture was with the boosters still on the shuttle and the second picture is of the shuttle moving on while the boosters are falling to earth below.

Here is the website explaining the shuttle mission. 

The next week they scheduled a rocket launch. The rocket was going on a mission to learn more about the sun. We planned on driving to see that but again on the news they said that the wind had to be under 20 knots and at the time it was 22, so things didn't look good. They canceled it and the next day it went. We slept in and decided not to go since it was only suppose to have a 60% chance of going. It went. We got to watch it on the news live, but didn't make it to see it live. We looked outside to see if it was viewable from where we were but it was just too cloudy. 

Here is the website with status reports on rockets that have been launched. The rocket that went up was called ELV-021210. 

 Austyn was so inspired by the rocket that he made his own with Legos.

We also worked on his Space lapbook. The kids loved working on their lapbooks while we were away. 

“I believe every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any of mine” ~ Neil Armstrong

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