Repost: Ellusive Orion

We came all this way to explore the moon, but the most important thing is we discovered the Earth
—- William Anders, Apollo 8

“T-6 minutes”
“Enable”
“T&E Launch enable to enable”
“GE Launch enable to enable”
“OSM Launch enable to enable”
“T-5 minutes”
“Coming up to our hold in 5,4,3,2,1”
“Four minutes and holding, this is a 15 minute built-in hold.”
“Vehicle transferred to internal”
“3 minutes 32 seconds and holding”
“Hold, Hold, Hold”
“We have a hold. ALC reason for hold?”
“Ground winds”

This past week, I and maybe half the country and more from around the world converged on the Florida Space Coast at Kennedy Space Center for the scheduled launch of Orion Spacecraft, the future shuttle for manned space flight to Mars and beyond.

NASA’s Orion  is a Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle built to transport humans farther than they have ever been, to Mars and beyond. It will serve as an exploration vehicle that will carry and sustain the crew in space, and provide safe re-entry back to Earth. It’s design is similar to the cone shaped capsule used during Apollo missions, only Orion is bigger and better. Orion can carry 6 crew members and is built with the latest avionics–glass cockpit digital control systems and advanced computer systems.

Continue to read here.

Delta 4 Launch!

Monday Morning Inspiration

You have often heard me rant about the many times I planned, re-planned, visited, waited and still missed a launch. So, in a freak, unexpected, and spur of the moment way, I watched a rocket launch. How weird is that?

Six years ago, I waited almost a week to watch Discovery launch. And came away disappointed.

Two years ago, I made the trek to Florida for the Orion launch. Waited all night, until the mission was scrubbed for the day. Next day, even though I was still in Florida, I chose to not make the trek back to Cape Canaveral for the second attempt the next day. Maybe, I was doomed from watching the launch. Since on this second day, the launch occurred flawlessly at the prescribed time!

Each time I plan a trip to Florida, I check the launch schedule, before I start making my travel plans. It was no different this time. Although, I saw a Delta IV rocket launch scheduled a few days ahead of my trip I knew I couldn’t weave it into my plans considering my extremely busy work and school schedule.

At 12:52 am, a Delta IV rocket launched flawlessly from Cape Canaveral separated from its boosters and went merrily about its mission. Watching NASA TV and the count down I knew the exact moment of the launch. Looking out of my hotel window which conveniently faced south I watched the rocket launch and disappear into orbit.

 No dramatic red glow, as the launch occurred. No camera shot. I neither had my SLR camera or my telephoto lens. Nor a pair of binoculars. And the cell phone shots were just white blobs.

Enjoy the high resolution launch by ULA.

I can finally say, I saw a rocket launch!