277 - 3... 2... 1... Liftoff!

Confound it but this was a difficult video to load! More difficult than it should have to be. Thank you Greg for suggesting that I upload it to YouTube instead of Blogger... that worked nicely. Maybe in a couple of years I'll get the hang of this 20th century technology... (yes, I know we're in the 21st century now... it was a joke... honestly... don't you people know me at all???)

Sooooooooo... this is the video footage I took of the shuttle launch. Would've posted it last night but I was having 'issues'.

There's 1:57 of prelaunch where I was trying to get some of the preamble, but the microphone mostly picked up people chattering around me (and wind). Seemed like it took FOREVER for the launch to actually happen, but then suddenly we were counting down and it came and went so quickly. I was primarily looking up at the sky, but I did periodically check the screen to make sure I was still filming the shuttle. I filmed until I could no longer see the shuttle with my (naked) eyes. Once the external tanks separate from the shuttle it gets harder to see. Just a small dot really.

I know you've all (probably) seen launches on TV before, but it was amazing to see one live... I cried a little. It's a pretty awesome sight. It gave me a sense that what I do sort of contributes to the process. And I was just in awe of the whole thing. It's a massive undertaking to launch a shuttle don't-cha-know.

I don't know if you can tell on the video, but the sound of the shuttle didn't actually reach us until about 45 seconds or so after we first saw signs of launch. We start screaming again, then the roar sort of overpowers our voices and you hear a popcorn-type sound. It wasn't overly loud, but it was definitely a wall of sound, and it does kind of drown everything else out for a bit.

Seems surreal that we shoot people into space. Started thinking that as excited as we were... the astronauts themselves must have been exponentially more excited. And terrified. How could you not be? So many things could go wrong... Have to admit, that crossed my mind, and I guess it's part of the emotion of a launch -- hoping it won't be a tragedy. A small part, but significant nonetheless. And luckily for all of us, it was perfect. A smashing success. I wonder what percentage of launches actually go up on time? We really lucked out.

And here's my random thought... We put the astronauts in quarantine for six weeks prior to launch because we don't want them to get sick. Then... on the day of the launch... we have people suit them up... people who haven't been quarantined... people who aren't wearing masks... people who get right in their faces... with six weeks of potentially new germs... that they haven't developed an immunity to... WHAT THE HELL??? Who came up with THAT system? *shaking my head*

If you want to just start watching at the countdown, that's at 1:58. The wall of sound hits at about 2:47. Confirmation of separation of external tanks is just before I stopped filming. Ignore any of my silly comments. I'm a dork. If that surprises you, you must be new to this blog... ;p

And finally, here is a pictoral that my beyond-wonderful friend Sandy sent me, about what it takes to launch a shuttle. Happens to feature STS-132. Very cool.

One last random thing. As I was walking out the door to start my weekend, my officemate was on the phone. I couldn't help but giggle when I heard him ask the following question: "Is it a nice rack?" Bwahahaha... It doesn't matter that I know he was talking about computer racks... I'll never grow up. NEVER!


  1. Wow! Photo 25 and 32 kinda put it into perspective for me, of the enormous size. For a second there, during your video of the launch, I thought you were going to film your feet. Good job, Kristy!

  2. Kristy, this was seriously and truly awesome...seeing your footage make is so real...I thank you so much for posting this, as well as the slide show pics.
    You go, girl! Yeah!

  3. Thanks for sharing this Kristy. I'm glad you got to see one before they end.

  4. That film is amazing. It must be incredible to get that close and watch it for yourself. Just fantastic.

  5. That is so incredibly awesome! I've always been in awe of air and space travel! Awesome video!

  6. sweet! That quarantine thing boggles my mine too. They could have the swine flu up in space. I never thought about astronauts getting sick.

  7. Ms. A - I actually took pics of my feet later, because they were so dirty after we walked through all the weeds and gravel. But... I hadn't painted my toenails, so you'll never see that picture. =)

    Joe - I still tear up a little when I watch it... weird, huh?

    Jeff - I'm glad too, it was well worth it.

    TS - Wish I had gotten a little closer, but you're right, being there is a completely different experience.

    ABAO - Thanks, I wish I had a better zoom, but alas...

    PTM - Or space flu! Gak!