Well, even though the weather isn’t the best, Nasa is going to re-start the countdown for launch on Thursday. There will be an evaluation of the weather conditions at 5:30am to see if it is safe to load the main tanks at 6:00am. If so, the countdown will continue. The weather still looks wet for the day, but if it is clear during the launch window they will light that bird up. I’m hopeful it will go, but have made additional arrangements if it doesn’t. Many of the Nasa tweetup folks have had to go home. I can wait a bit longer. But I do have to go back to work next week. Collectively our fingers are crossed for this tomorrow. Please wish Nasa luck for this!
One of the difficulties of attending a space launch is delays. There are SO many different things that impact the ability of the shuttle to leave the earth’s gravity that any oddities in the testing of the systems. All of the redundant systems are tested to make sure that they are working. If a redundant system isn’t working on the ground, its just junk being hauled up.
That’s the problem. There are electrical problems/inconsistencies with components on one of the main engines on the shuttle itself. The Shuttle mission management team has now set the launch for Thursday at 3:39 pm. Unfortunately with the additional delay more folks are not able to make the launch. Not to mention lots of additional work and expense with all the delays for our tweetup coordinator. Stephanie Schierholz, the tweetup coordinator, has done an incredible job of dealing with changing schedules, and fluctuating attendees.
But it has been an incredible time so far. I have seen the shuttle from as close as they will allow people to view it. I have had the very rare opportunity to walk inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. I have visited the Saturn V center when all the other visitors weren’t there. We were driven alongside the runway on the taxiway where the shuttle lands. I have been Timmy’s personal photographer for the launch. It has been such an amazing experience for all of us.
I really want to be here when it flies. More than that, I want it to take off safely for the astronauts inside. If the mechanical items are good, and the anomalous readings are accounted for, the weather may delay things. The weather is only 30% good for a launch on Thursday. The next day that NASA will attempt a launch is Saturday. Friday is a rest day, since everyone involved has been on duty since before Monday. These folks will need to get a break. So no attempt will be made on Friday, but there are 2 more available windows on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
I have some really incredible and awesome pictures on my camera to download. And I have been to some of the places where my father was when he was here in 1966 – 1970. I will stay through the Thursday attempt. I’d like to stay through Saturday. The weather possibilities are much better at that point. But it depends on the mechanical evaluation tomorrow. We will continue to keep our fingers crossed for the launch on Thursday.
I’m reeling from it, but I got word on Wednesday that I have been invited to attend the NASA Tweetup for the launch of the next Space Shuttle at Kennedy Space Center in Florida! Imagine me jumping up and down while squeeing like a little girl!!!! OMG!
This is something I never imagined I could win, since it was a drawing for people who tweet and there are a very large number of us. There was a 24 hour period of time to sign up on August 24-25. I later got the figure of over 2700 entries were created on the form for this. Then NASA pulled the entries out of a figurative hat and started notifying 150 winners that they were able to attend if they could, as well as 150 alternates and all the other people that entered.
The bad thing is, DH can’t get into the tweetup. He is welcome to come to Florida and watch from the public viewing area, but he will not have access to the areas I will for 2 days. So this is bittersweet for me. I’ve never seen a shuttle launch, or a space launch of any kind. I had vowed to my self that I would find a way to witness one of the last launches, but I really thought DH would be by my side to watch it, both of us holding the other’s hand and willing that rocket on its way safely out and back.
I have to pay my own way there and find a place to stay contingent on the shuttle keeping its intended launch date. I have a flight, and can re-arrange it if I need to. I have a room booked that is more than I really want to pay, but I need to call em up and adjust the reservation so if the shuttle launches on Nov 1 and I check out I won’t be paying for additional nights at 200 a pop. I still have to get a rental.
Right now the twitter hashtag #NASATweetup is being used by the folks selected in a an introductory way and is all abuzz with folks who are like me, insanely excited to have this once in a life time opportunity. If you have any suggestions for me about the area, I’d love to see ’em! I have no idea what its like to be there for a launch,and how crazy it gets. So please suggest places or tips for dealing with it all!