It’s been three months since I witnessed the last liftoff of Space Shuttle Discovery, as part of the STS-133 NASA Tweetup group. I’m still thinking about it, still processing in a way — how bright it was, the sounds, the vibrations, and the way the launch plume was swept away by the wind, until the only indicator that a launch had taken place was the absence of the shuttle on the pad. (Well… that, and the amazing amount of traffic we drove home in. Clearly a launch had taken place!)
I feel so fortunate, given STS-134’s experience with low cloud cover, that we could watch the shuttle until it disappeared over the horizon, sans SRBs. I feel so fortunate to have met such wonderful people during both trips, friendships which I hope last a lifetime. It’s repetitive, but it sums it up: I feel so fortunate to have seen this, and done this.
There’s only one launch left now — STS-135, shuttle Atlantis — and NASA is having one last launch tweetup. I strongly encourage anyone to register: go here, it opens at noon EDT on on June 1st.