My sister has a friend who works in External Affairs at the Johnson Space Center who was able to get us three VIP passes to the scheduled launch of STS-133, the space shuttle Discovery. We were to watch from Banana Creek, some 3 1/2 miles from launch pad 39A. The only way to be any closer is if you were part of a rescue team sitting in an APC a half mile from the launch pad.
Despite the shuttle still sitting on launch pad 39A as I type, it was still a great trip.
It was Air Force Week at Cocoa Beach so we went to the airshow. Saw several demonstrations including a F-15E (the baddest F-15 there is).
And a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet. Both jets were badass, but the F/A-18 was super bad.
On Halloween night we went to a party hosted by Michael Coats, director of the Johnson Space Center.
There I got to meet a few astronauts including Mike Good (STS-125, the last Hubble repair mission, and STS-132).
Plus I got to visit with Nicko McBrain, drummer for the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. He was funny.
On to the KSC we drove around the VAB (vehicle assembly building) and had a photo op outside. This pic was taken from inside the bus, hence the glare. I liked this angle better than the photo op they gave us. Last time I was there (1978) my brother and I got to go inside the building, but that was during the transition between the Saturn rockets and the space shuttle system.
Mobile launch pad for the space shuttle. (Endeavor will use this one on its last launch next spring.)
Launch pad 39A and there sits STS-133. (taken through the bus's window)
The orbiter is hidden away behind that gray room-like thing. It is swung away prior to fueling and launch.
|My sister and brother-in-law|