Flying Low and Slow


A memorable photo journey

Over St John’s River and Lake Poinsetta area at low altitude to view river, marshes, and wildlife in a 1940 Waco UPF-7 Biplane.

We then turned northeast and flew over the Indian and Banana Rivers towards Kennedy Space Center & Cape Canaveral.Approached Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to the northwest, and came in low flying down the middle of the Space Shuttle runway.

Flew over the nearby KSC/NASA Vehicle Assembly Building, new Blue Origin and Space X building, to the east of the Launch Complexes 39A and 39B.

 

A slow, low circle over the KSC Visitor Center, with Rocket Garden, Atlantis Center.

Then south towards Port Canaveral and Cocoa Beach, flying over the cruise ship terminals, cruise ships, and port, and then down along and over Coca Beach.

A little stick time for me as we turned west and headed back to Merritt Island for a landing.

What a fantastic flight. If you are ever in the Orlando area check out Florida Air Tours and take a ride with Mike.

Blue Origin sends suborbital rocket to new heights — Cosmic Log


Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture notched another record today when it sent its New Shepard suborbital spaceship on its highest-ever round trip to space. It was the eighth uncrewed test flight for the New Shepard program, and the second go-around for this particular spaceship, which is dubbed RSS H.G. Wells in honor […]

via Blue Origin sends suborbital rocket to new heights — Cosmic Log

Has it really been 5 years?


Discovery Final Fly By

How ironic is it that it was Discovery that did the flyby today over Washington DC, amidst the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol? Atop a Boeing 747, it soared over the Nation’s Capital at 1500 ft waving a final goodbye before gliding to a landing at it’s final resting place: National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, VA.

After a sweeping low flyby past the Washington Monument, it looped over the National Mall not once but twice, slow, silent yet graceful. Past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Capitol, The White House, Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial. After two graceful loops over the mall, she finally bid adieu headed up the Potomac River past the SW Waterfront,  Reagan National Airport and finally Dulles International Airport. Crowds thronged the mall and other lookout areas taking a break from school, work and other activities to catch a glimpse of history, anxious to snap a photo and discuss the times they had watched a shuttle launch out in Titusville.

When NASA announced the end of the Space Shuttle Missions in 2010, it was finally now or never. It was STS 133 launch that I was scheduled to watch. After several failed attempts to procure KSC launch tickets, my friends and I managed to buy the Dolphin Tours Causeway launch package for STS-133 which was scheduled to liftoff on Nov 1st, 2010. As fate willed it, after waiting almost a week in Florida with daily postponements to the next day, STS-133 launch got scrubbed and re-scheduled for Feb 24th, 2011 when Discovery  accomplished it’s final mission before being retired from service.

It was to be never for me since I have never watched a Shuttle launch or landing. So it is especially a bitter sweet moment to finally see Discovery not on a launchpad strapped to solid rocket boosters 10 miles away blasting off gracefully to space on a crimson and pristine predawn Florida sky but 1500 ft above Washington DC, piggybacked on a Boeing 747.

Discovery  and so we finally meet 🙂

See Also:

Atlantis: Final Flight 
SpaceShipOne Government Zero
SpaceShipOne and I
I touched SpaceShipOne
Lost in Space

Timelapse of the Entire Universe


On a cosmic time scale, human history is as brief as the blink of an eye. By compressing all 13.8 billion years of time into a 10 minute scale, this video shows just how young we truly are, and just how ancient and vast our universe is. Starting with the big bang and culminating […]

via Timelapse of the Entire Universe — Charly W. Karl

Today in Transportation History – 1963: The First Woman in Space — Transportation History


Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, landed safely back on Earth after a three-day mission on orbit. Tereshkova was born in central Russia in 1937 to so-called ‘proletarian’ parents, and out of school worked at a textile factory. She developed a passion for skydiving during this period, and this skill brought her to the […]

via Today in Transportation History – 1963: The First Woman in Space — Transportation History

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Sunita Williams, Indian American Astronaut


In December 2006, Sunita Williams became only the second woman of Indian descent to travel to outer space when she was launched on board Space Shuttle Discovery to the International Space Station (ISS). Kalpana Chawla had become the first woman of Indian descent to travel to outer space when she flew on board Space Shuttle […]

via Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Sunita Williams, Indian American Astronaut — Transportation History