I turned on the car at 5 a.m. on July 8, 2011, and the Dexy's Midnight Runners hit was on the radio. For better or worse, I'll always associate "Come on Eileen" with Atlantis and that day. :)
All the videos of the original are pretty bad on YouTube, so here's a cover by two artists I really like: Sugarland and Sara Bareilles, performing it at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
|"Reflection" a pre-dawn Atlantis after the rain. |
Photo credit: Doug Wheelock.
This led me to tweet: "The sky's crying because it's sad the shuttle program's ending. THERE'S NO CRYING AT #NASATWEETUP! Buck up - we've got a bird to fly!"
We'd know by 2 a.m. Friday morning if they'd give the green light for tanking (which means they'd put the fuel in Atlantis).
I went to bed optimistic. The next morning, I awoke to hear these sweet words from my housemate Tristan: "I can see stars." A break in the clouds, just what we needed! And NASA had given the go for tanking, so things were looking up.
We all piled into our cars to leave the rental home (lovingly dubbed #DiscoveryHouse) to begin the trek to Kennedy Space Center. Apropos of nothing, "Come on Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners came on the radio as soon as I started the car. I laughed, thinking, "Come on Atlantis...fly!" For the rest of my life, whenever I hear that song I'll think of this day.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
|Space Shuttle Atlantis in the background, shortly after the RSS |
retraction. I was about 400 yards away from Launch Pad 39A.
We got up bright and early at our group house in Cape Canaveral, and began the 23 minute drive to the press area at Kennedy Space Center. (It became quickly apparent that everything would be precisely timed for our visit...it's NASA, after all, where every minute and millimeter matters.)
Upon getting through Gate 2 security, the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) came into view, off in the distance. The VAB is where they attach the space shuttle onto the main rockets. While it looks small on TV, the massive nature of it overtakes you in person. At 525 feet tall, it's the largest single story building in the world.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
|SpaceX lightbox at Orlando International Airport saluting |
the final space shuttle launch. One of many I'd see.
I spent yesterday afternoon at the doctor's office because a gnarly little chest cold that I brought back from a conference looked like it was blooming into full-blown pneumonia. 1 chest x-ray, 3 vials of blood, an Albuterol session, 1 large needle to the gluteus maximus, and a scrip for 2 inhalers, a pill and some Tussin with codeine later she ruled it a big jerkface of a case of bronchitis and cleared me to fly!