Saturday, July 9, 2011

Boating the NASA way

"What's the most exciting thing that has ever happened to us" asks Kate. My first reaction was that god awful storm we sailed through on Georgian bay. Kate says "No, I think the shuttle launch", and she was right. We left the house at 1:00 am, and drove to Titusville. We arrived a bit after 5:00 am at a large hotel's lobby jammed full of reporters, camera crews, and NASA contractors. We find our host, grab some bagels, are given our passes, and hop into his car. Every square inch of the causeway's shoulders going out the space center is jammed with vehicles. We get checked through the main KSC guard gate, and then through another check point, and drive up to the observation area set aside for employees and contractors. We are now about three miles from the shuttle, with a clear view, and as close as NASA will let unprotected personnel get. It is now about T minus 30 minutes, and counting. A long row of metal bleachers are set up with a PA system that's providing the communication feeds between the NASA centers, and the shuttle. We have our host from Morton Thiokol on one side of us, and a group from Rockwell on the other side who are translating what is happening.