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Also, click here to see more pics from the launch.
I have always dreamed of watching a Space Shuttle launch...
I never dreamed that I would be able to take my boys with me to actually see one!
This mission was supposed to have launched in June, 2009, but was delayed because of a hydrogen leak. I had already planned our vacation to Florida before that. However, when the shuttle launch was delayed, they pushed it back to the exact week we would be in Florida!
Through some of my co-workers (Thanks Bob!) I was able to score some seats at a prime viewing area!
We traveled to the Kennedy Space Center from St. Pete for two failed launch attempts and we were hoping that the third time would be the charm and not "three strikes and your out!"
Going from St. Petersburg, FL to the Kennedy Space Center was a 300 mile round trip, so each time consisted of an entire days worth of driving there, waiting and then driving back
While there, the boys were so well behaved and waited patiently...snacks helped.
We were at the Banana Creek viewing area and the view was awesome! There were A LOT of folks here with us...
At 4 minutes to liftoff, the announcer asked everyone at the viewing area to stand and sing the National Anthem...
Finally, at 6:03 pm EDST, the Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off the pad. I took this picture with my very own camera, with my longer lens.
It was incredible and my eyes welled up with pride as our shuttle raced skyward! People were shouting "GO!!!" and "Come on Endeavour!" The sound was not as loud as I had anticipated, but you could still very much feel the power!
In less than 1 minute it was so high that you couldn't really hear it or see it much...they boys were both very impressed (as they should be!) and we all had huge grins on our faces...
After 2 failed launch attempts because of weather, almost 900 miles of driving back and forth, back and forth and back and forth, and about $50 in dang tolls, we finally experienced something that I had only dreamed of...the launch of the Space Shuttle.
It did not disappoint!