Monday, July 11, 2011

Atlantis STS-135 - The Last Adventure!

The Last Space Shuttle:
Atlantis STS- 135
Launch pad 39A

Our view of the famous VAB!
(Vehicle Assembly Building)
-Launch Pad 39A is to the far right-
VAB is the largest single story building in the world- so large that it
creates its own weather system inside!
(including cloud coverage on a humid day)

And. . . there was so much fog and humidity -
we didn't know if we'd be able to see a thing!

From our location on the beach- we waited and watched.
We passed the time by playing.

and we watched. . .

and our 100 year old dog watched. . . 

We talked and hung out. . .

 We spent time with daddy
(he was very excited too!)

We told stories about Space Shuttles past
(both the hubs and I grew up in Orlando and were privileged
enough to have seen several launches over the years)

and then it was time. . .

The final Space Shuttle -
Atlantis was launched. . .

The cloud coverage made it tough-
very difficult to get good pics with my point and shoot!   
It was loud. . .

It was powerful. . .

It was awe inspiring. . .

 There was a sonic BOOM when she broke through the atmosphere!
If you look closely (very closely) you can see the trail
of smoke behind the shuttle!

We are proud and honored to have witnessed such an historical moment. . .

We celebrated!

Photo close-up of the launch:

Atlantis Lifts Off
  close up provided by:

I am exhausted from our adventure.
We left out Thursday evening on a 4 hour drive
through torrential rain (the kind you cannot see through)
We pitched a tent at almost 11 pm at night.

We didn't get much sleep as we waited for a launch that might not happen.

But, it did happen.
And, it was the last of its kind.
And, we were there.

I have such mixed emotions about this adventure.

I wouldn't have wanted to miss it and I'm so grateful we were there.

But, the fact that so many people don't seem to understand
that this was the end of one of the most important endeavors
the United States has ever undertaken is troublesome to say the least.

The end with no replacement program in place and
only vague ideas on how to move forward
with the space program in general- it ended.

A program that has been responsible for technological
 and scientific advances
that have benefited the entire planet- has come to an end!

I wonder if everyone of the million or so people who came out to see
the last shuttle- to bear witness to the end of an era-
If everyone who cared would have written or called their congressmen
and representatives to let them know how they felt. . .
would we still have a shuttle program?

What can we do today to help lay out plans for our future
and that of our children?


Jill said...

Such a wonderful post! I love all of your pictures. How lucky you were to be able to be there with your whole family to see it. Loved seeing it all through your eyes.

Jen said...

what a great learning experience
and I too LOVED your photos :)

MJ said...

Yay!! I am so glad you all got to see it! I thought of you when it went up!!!

♥ilovemy5kids♥ said...

Love those kind of adventures!

Your kids will remember the memories for sure!

lana @ ilovemy5kids