Sunday, September 20, 2009

Shuttle Ferry Flight...

The Space Shuttle Discovery left Edwards Air Force Base early Sunday morning at approximately 0620 hrs. Originally it was supposed to leave on Saturday but because of bad weather they pushed it back a day. Now getting up early on a Sunday to drive to "work" isn't my idea of a good time but of all the years I have been at Edwards I have never watched the shuttle leave. As everyone is aware the program is set to retire soon and this very well could be the last time the shuttle is at Edwards. With that in mind I set my alarm and had to convince myself that I REALLY wanted to do this. The plan was also to take Devin, but with his 102 degree fever that was pretty much out of the question.

My timing was a little off and I really barely made it. When I drove onto the base I could see the shuttle taxiing and I still had a ways to go to get to the spot I wanted to photograph it from. When I finally got to the spot and got out of the truck the 747 was prepared for take-off and was revving up its engines. So I got out of the truck and QUICKLY grabbed my camera and threw on a lens and started shooting. Fortunately everything went well and I got some pretty nice shots of it leaving. I also did something that I don't normally do and that was to lower the camera and just watch what was going on in front of me. It really was an impressive site.

The one thing I did do for Devin (and everyone else) was to set up the DVR to record the NASA channel (that darn DirecTV iPhone app is cool!) so when I got home everyone was able to sit down and watch it depart on TV.

I also happened to meet up with my friend Tom Van Langenhoven who was also coming out to the base to watch/photograph it leaving - but he got delayed and actually missed taking photographs of it. I did buy him a coffee to help drown his sorrows! Actually it wasn't that bad - he at least got to watch it while he was driving - he was just too far to really do anything photographically.


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