Reflection – The Space Shuttle Saga

Having lived on “the Space Coast” for one almost two decades, I’ve come to treat the whole space program as granted, and I’ve even ridiculed tourists or n00bs to this area for freaking out when they hear about a launch, or that there is a space shuttle landing going on.

Why am I so jaded with the space program, you ask?

Not because I think it’s uncool, in fact, I think it’s one of the coolest things one can witness and experience in their life, as not many people have the chance to see things like a night launch, or get woke up at 4 in the morning to the sound of the double sonic booms.

As with many people, when something happens all the time around you, and every time it happens, it happens with clinical precision, and nothing ever goes wrong, so it just sort of becomes a routine, and like I said, having lived only 45 minutes away from the Kennedy Space Center, I’ve seen many launches, day and night, and have heard/felt/experienced the double sonic boom many times as well, and I guess I’ve just gotten used to it, and the excitement wore off.

However, with the flawed record of Columbia on their belt, and the space program coming to a close here soon, the excitement for the space shuttle has returned somewhat to me.

This morning, Discovery landed at KSC at 9:08am, exactly as NASA predicted, and it came to a halt on the runway at 9:09am.  Because of the path of descent, most people in North Orlando heard the double sonic boom, but not us here.

Let me just take a second to describe what the double sonic boom sounds and feels like.

It feels like a semi truck rammed into another semi truck, head on, at 80MPH, and then gets dropped on top of the building that you’re currently in, or in our case, our house.  Kinda like the highway scene in the Matrix: Reloaded when the 2 semi trucks had a head-on collision, except with no explosions.

You hear two loud booms that sometimes sound just like one loud one, then the entire house shakes, and you feel like dishes and plates and stuff will fall out of the cabinets and fall on the floor and shatter, and all the glass windows in the house just shakes and you think they will shatter, but they don’t, and lastly, every dog in the neighborhood freak out and start barking non-stop for the next 10 minutes, and car alarms go off.

When you are not expecting that type of ruckus, like at 4 in the morning when you’re sound asleep, it can be quite a scary thing.  The shuttle landing before last (not counting the one that just happened a little less than half an hour ago), that’s exactly what happened.  I was sound asleep, and then the sonic booms happened.  I thought a car had crashed into the house.

Before this post turns into a paperback best seller, I am going to conclude by saying that, I am going to miss the sonic booms, and I’m going to miss seeing the shuttle launches from the driveway, or at the beach, or even my “once in a lifetime” opportunity to go into KSC and stand across the lagoon from the launch pad and watch a night launch.  That will be a memory that I will never forget, and I am very thankful to my junior high friend and his parents for bringing me with them to see that launch.

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One Response to “Reflection – The Space Shuttle Saga”

  1. Its all smoke and mirrors. The space program is a sham. The earth is flat and we never went to the moon. Th sun rotates around us.

    People need to stop listening to the government propaganda

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