I hope today is not an omen of tomorrow. That the delay of my little hop from NYC to Orlando is not a harbinger of things to come. Because if it is, then I've wasted a few hundred dollars to go from 90 degree heat to 90 degree heat for nothing.
I'm currently at 17,823 feet and climbing, hurtling south at a speed of 509 miles per hour on my way to see Space Shuttle Discovery launch with my own eyes. Of course these speeds and altitudes are a snicker compared to those that the astronauts are going to be experiencing tomorrow. Look how far we've come in 102 years; the Wright Brothers barely got off the ground and now here I am flying close to the speed of sound on a whim in order to see 8 people rocket into space. Very cool stuff.
As you can probably figure out, I'm a huge space geek. That's ok, you can say is, I wear the moniker proudly. People getting together to create the technology necessary to do the impossible, it's like my personal little fantasy.
Speaking of fantasies, I've always dreamt of seeing a shuttle launch, and in many ways I think I was born about 25 years too late. The 60's were the really exciting time in manned space exploration, what I would have given to have been there for the launch of Apollo 8 or 11 or 17, the first and only night launch of the Saturn V. Compared to those monsters, the shuttle, even with it's two solid rocket boosters is not even in the same league. Yet nonetheless I've heard that it'll rattle both your windows and your teeth from 10 miles away, which I think it about as close as we're going to get.
Oh, by 'we' I'm referring to myself and my best friend Andrew, who's flying down from Boston in a couple of hours. The first day we met we spent 2 hours talking about a mission to Mars, so this trip is just the culmination of 16 years of late night conversation.
Hopefully tomorrow's launch will not turn out like this flight I'm on, which by the way, is now flying at 38,127 feet (you've gotta love the JetBlue Live Map). My flight back is on Thursday morning at 10:30, so NASA, please be sure that everyone inside of Discovery has their seat belt securely fastened is read to go at 3:41PM, because I know I'll be ready to watch.
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