October 23, 2007

Launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery

Today we headed to the Kennedy Space Center to personally view the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. The Shuttle was carrying seven astronauts and a critical connecting module for the international space station.

Several thousand spectators joined us for the event.

Astronaut John Fabian took the stage throughout the morning to relate stories about his experiences in space in the 1980's aboard the Challenger and Discovery. One of his fellow flight crew members was the first woman in space, Sally Ride.

Big screens provided up-close analysis and information leading up to the launch.

Here is the promotional poster for the crew of Space Shuttle Discovery launch STS-120. The launch window would open at 11:33 am.

The launch was executed apparently flawlessly at 11:38 am. We documented it in the videos appearing below. It was truly a neat sight to behold.

Kennedy Space Center has a Space Shuttle Control Center set up where visitors can go to view the Space Shuttle on mission and hear different astronauts describe what the crew is experiencing on the current mission and what they themselves experienced on their own missions.

The newest attraction at Kennedy Space Center is the Shuttle Launch Experience, a chance to personally experience a high-impact simulation of a Space Shuttle Launch.

The Space Shuttle Explorer is on display at the Kennedy Space Center. We were a little disheartened to find that it is not an actual space shuttle that has flown but is instead a full-scale replica of a Space Shuttle. It was still quite impressive to see both inside and out. Be sure to click on the additional photos link at the bottom for pictures of the interior.

If we had actually been this close to the launch, we probably would have been incinerated or, at the very least, deaf.

Marlon prepares for his exploration of the moon by boarding this Lunar Roving Vehicle, also known as a moon buggy. These vehicles were used on the moon during the Apollo program.

For more pictures of the Kennedy Space Center on the day STS-120 was successfully executed go to http://public.fotki.com/Marlonfleenor/1/2007/october/shuttle-lauch-and-v/ .

To be continued...

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