I just accomplished something I’ve always wanted to do in my life. I witnessed the Space Shuttle take off!!! Granted I was 6 hours north of the Kennedy Space Center but never the less, I saw this incredible shuttle head off into space.
I’d always heard you could see the space shuttle take off from the south end of Tybee but until this week never quite took the time to follow the schedule to watch this. This was actually the 4th attempt this week- earlier in the week I’d ridden my bike down to the south end to watch this only to find out with 10 minutes to go, the launch was stopped. My new favorite reality TV is www.nasa.gov and the you go to the NASA TV section. You can spend hours watching the shuttle’s every little detail. So I’ve been following this and figured out exactly how long it would take me to ride my bike to the south end and position myself on the beach to watch this. As of 25 minutes to launch- everything was a go, so I headed down.
There were lots of people on the beach and walk over waiting, the air was cool- no humidity, the moon was bright and the stars out in full force. Then exactly 1 minute before midnight I heard several excited squeals and there she was!!! A huge red trail of fire heading up the coast towards Africa. We could watch the shuttle for a full 5 minutes until she became so small we couldn’t see her any more. We all applauded with excitement!!
I silently wished the astronauts Godspeed and then I thought about Senator Ted Kennedy. I had spent the evening earlier watching the Irish Wake of Senator Kennedy and couldn’t help but smile when I saw the red fire trail head off into space. This was a man who believed that our country was truly the greatest on earth and believed anything was possible . After seeing the shuttle tonight, this just re affirms that when we Americans put our minds to something, anything is truly possible. This was a wonderful way to cap off the day of honoring him.
I will be sure that I am on the south beach watching every single launch I can until the day comes when I can actually be at the Kennedy Space Center watching right there!