Monday, February 8, 2010
Launch, Part II
After the delay of the Sunday morning launch, it was a long drive back to the hotel. I was so tired when we got home at around 5 a.m., I fell into bed with all my clothes on and was asleep in minutes. We all slept in until around noon and went to "breakfast" at a tasty little bakery at around one. After eating a yummy brunch, we all went to the grocery store to stock up on some food for our Super Bowl party! About half of us watched the Saints win an awesome victory while everyone else caught up on some sleep and homework. Once the game ended, I went off to bed and only got about an hour of sleep until we had to wake up at 1 a.m. to catch the bus. We arrived with about two hours till launch and sat on the cold hard bleachers, half asleep and anxious to see if the weather would be kind to us. After sitting through the 20 minute hold and about 30 minutes of the 9 minute hold, the control room went through its pre-flight checks and the weather was cleared for Kennedy Space Center and all of the emergency landing sites. The shuttle was cleared for take off and the crowd that was gathered in and around the bleachers cheered. At T-4 minutes, the crowd stood as a NASA employee sang the national anthem. At T-1 minute, the lights were dimmed and everyone was standing with anticipation. At T-10 seconds we all counted down with the clock and watched in awe as the shuttle lifted off the pad and lit up the entire sky. Not long after the sound crashed into us and shook the stands. We watched the shuttle go from being a second sun into a tiny star-like dot and continued to stare until the shuttle had been in the sky for ten minutes. On the bus ride home, everyone fell asleep after all the excitement and once again fell into bed once we got back to the hotel. It was a long, cold and tiring two days, but it was all very worth it as we watched the shuttle soar into space.