A flying Brick

Joined
Apr 12, 2006
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Central Georgia, USA
We just watched the shuttle Endeavor land, and as it neared touch down on a flawless landing, my wife commented jokingly, "now days, it ani't nothing but a thing", meaning they have done it so much, it is all old hat.
I never get tired of watching any part of our space program, I guess my interest started with Kellogg's cereal boxes and the complete launch able rockets that were buried within.

Am I wrong in thinking that the space program is under appreciated by the younger folks? Even my grand children seem indifferent to it, and I have carried them out on cold nights to watch the ISS and shuttle pass over, it seems the meteor showers impressed them a lot more.

It is still fascinating that we can throw a 50 ton ( ? ) rock into space, and bring it back.

In march we were fortunate to see the launch of Discovery 119, a twilight/night launch. All I can say is
it was incredible. The excitement builds, and then it lights up, rising silently, high into the sky, and then the wall of sound slaps you hard, as an American, it is really a proud moment. If you have a chance to see one the 8 remaining launches, you will not be disappointed.

This is a serious crop.

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Joined
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IL
I remember tuning the old round screen black and white TV so we could hear Sputnik beep from space. Some of the younger generation may take it for granted because it is old hat to them. The overlooked part of the space program is it helps develop new techs and gives us a frontier to expand our civilizations.

I am sure that some of the younger generation look to the stars and want to go there. Even a lot of the older generation would love to go to the stars.

Cool shot also.
 
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Aurora, CO
I just watched the landing online and the last 20 minutes of flight as well

15,000 miles per hour - 240 miles up in the sky - DAMN!

I am still impressed with what they do
 
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Thanks Dennis, There is a long sad story behind the quality of this image.
The technology that has come out of the space industry touches everyones life. For me, I am off grid Solar, since 83, my lighting was was invented for Skylab, super efficient, and the list must be very very long.
 
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Clovis, NM, USA
Seems the younger folks just don't really understand where we came from. I remember each and every launch, almost every mission objective most of the crews from Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. But I remember a time during Apollo that interest n the space program waned. It came back during the early Shuttle years, and it seems to be gone again. I still long to see a shuttle launch in person, I have never been able to get myself in Florida at the right time to see one. Maybe next year, as those will be the final launches of our shuttle fleet. I envy anyone who has seen a launch, and anyone who has seen a recovery.
 
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If you get a chance watch "First men on the moon." I think it's either PBS or Nat Geo. They tell you how close the Apollo 11 moon landing close came to perdition. The circuit breaker for the launch engine was broken off and NASA had no solution; Aldrin stuck his ball point pen in the hole and it worked. :eek:
President Nixon even had a memorial speech prepared by his writers it looked so bad.

On approaching a landing on the moon the computer kept crashing so Armstrong did it manually, but the computer took them way off course so he had to search for and land on a new surface...with 15 seconds of fuel left. :eek: An engineer there at NASA at the time said of the Lunar module that the computer was about the power of a digital watch, not even close to today's mobile phone.
 
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Down Yonder Florida
Am I wrong in thinking that the space program is under appreciated by the younger folks? Even my grand children seem indifferent to it, and I have carried them out on cold nights to watch the ISS and shuttle pass over, it seems the meteor showers impressed them a lot more.
Younger folks? I don't know, but when I was a kid in elementary school I asked two teachers if we could watch the first space shuttle landing tests (this was before the launch when they were test-flying Enterprise). We had TVs right outside the room and weren't doing anything particularly important that I can remember. Both looked at me and said "who would want to watch that?"

In the same school a couple of years later we were returning from one of the several field trips we'd had during the year to downtown DC. We'd typically do the usual trip to the Zoo or National Gallery of Art (we only once went to the History museum). On the way back I asked why we never go to the National Air & Space Museum. The answer? "Well, nobody is really interested in that."

Maybe that kind of attitude was isolated to teachers in Fairfax County Virginia, but I can only imagine that kind of attitude has become worse over the years -at least in some areas. Who knows.
 
Joined
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Seems the younger folks just don't really understand where we came from. I remember each and every launch, almost every mission objective most of the crews from Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. But I remember a time during Apollo that interest n the space program waned. It came back during the early Shuttle years, and it seems to be gone again. I still long to see a shuttle launch in person, I have never been able to get myself in Florida at the right time to see one. Maybe next year, as those will be the final launches of our shuttle fleet. I envy anyone who has seen a launch, and anyone who has seen a recovery.
I was telling my wife that shooting a landing would be a lot easier than a launch, as for as timing it goes. I wonder how crowed it is down there for a landing. The night launch traffic was horrible, took 3 hours to get 12 miles to a friends home. I wish you luck seeing one, as that is how it happened for us, one of many delays landed right in our laps so to speak. We met RV folks that had been there 4 weeks, now that is really wanting to see a launch. It is worth it, beyond my ability to describe it. I am envious of my friends, as they see all of them, from the 3 mile site, I was at the 6 mile viewing point.
 
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Nashua, NH
I appreciate the space program, but I don't get excited about watching them. In 2008 I was at the Merritt Island shoot. There was a launch and it seemed everyone but 3 of us went to the launch. I stayed at Viera Wetlands. I watched the launch from 20 some miles away - it took 3 minutes out of my day - that was about it.
 
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England
i would love to see a launch one day
ive been playing the saturn rocket take offs at slow speed it allways seems so spectacular.
 
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i would love to see a launch one day
ive been playing the saturn rocket take offs at slow speed it allways seems so spectacular.
Oh yea, Apollo 13 played with a THX system, room rattling!!!

The sound is pretty awesome, the only thing that comes close in comparison, was my one and only NASCAR race, Talladega before restricter plates, on the back stretch, you can stand 18' from the fence, when the pack makes it's first pass, not even up to speed, it rattles your entire body, and you feel the sound resonating deep with in.
 
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England
i wish i only have a small sony tv

i wish they would show it in the cinema with surround sound it would be an experiance
 
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Huntsville/Muscle Shoals, AL
I am envious. I have been fortunate enough to see three launches; STS-4, STS-12, and STS 97. I keep saying I want to see another shuttle launch before the end of the program, and I would love to see and landing as well.
 
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Texas!
Younger folks? I don't know, but when I was a kid in elementary school I asked two teachers if we could watch the first space shuttle landing tests (this was before the launch when they were test-flying Enterprise). We had TVs right outside the room and weren't doing anything particularly important that I can remember. Both looked at me and said "who would want to watch that?"

In the same school a couple of years later we were returning from one of the several field trips we'd had during the year to downtown DC. We'd typically do the usual trip to the Zoo or National Gallery of Art (we only once went to the History museum). On the way back I asked why we never go to the National Air & Space Museum. The answer? "Well, nobody is really interested in that."

Maybe that kind of attitude was isolated to teachers in Fairfax County Virginia, but I can only imagine that kind of attitude has become worse over the years -at least in some areas. Who knows.
!@$%^&!! I cannot visit DC without going to the Air & Space Museum.

I also never pass up a chance to visit the AF Museum at Wright-Pat, and have visited the Wright Brothers Memorial http://www.aviationheritagearea.org/huffmanCenter.htm and walked Huffman Prarie http://www.ascho.wpafb.af.mil/HUFFMAN.HTM

Hallowed ground for any aviator.

As you say, the general population takes the wonder of flight for granted. When you reflect on it, it's almost beyond belief that we went from the first successful flight of a powered aircraft to the Moon in less than 70 years - in one person's lifetime.

I feel really fortunate. For thousands of generations, humans have dreamed of flight. Even today, If I happend to have been born in China or many other places in the world, as an ordinary civilian I'd have no chance to pilot an aircraft. In the USA, any private citizen of reasonable health and with some disposable income can experience what only a tiny fraction of all humankind ever has. Not just riding an airliner from one place to another (although that's pretty miraculous!) but flying as Pilot in Command.

One of the aircraft in which I instruct:
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A friend quotes daVinci in his email sig: "When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."
 
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Joined
Nov 15, 2006
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Winter Haven, Florida
Living in Florida for the past 30 years, it still thrills me to see the launch. I have been to two launches - one night and one day. Would love to see another, but inside the cape, close up.

I remember the very first night launch of the space program. I was working part time for a radio station (WFBC) in Greenville, SC (I'm thinking 1973?). The transmitter site was about 25 miles away (Ceasar's Head). I went outside and saw the launch from atop the mountain - just a small white light moving toward the heavens.
 
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Ohio & Florida
i would love to see a launch one day
ive been playing the saturn rocket take offs at slow speed it allways seems so spectacular.
Oh yea, Apollo 13 played with a THX system, room rattling!!!

The sound is pretty awesome, the only thing that comes close in comparison, was my one and only NASCAR race, Talladega before restricter plates, on the back stretch, you can stand 18' from the fence, when the pack makes it's first pass, not even up to speed, it rattles your entire body, and you feel the sound resonating deep with in.
I saw and photographed the first 3 Saturn V launches in the late 1960's. I worked for Pan American World Airways and they had a contract with the USAF to operate the Cape. I was one of 700 engineers and 7000+ employees on the test range.

Our Electro-Optics Engineering group handled the photo gear, pad lighting, pad acoustics and underwater acoustics for the range. The Saturn V noise was like Tom indicates, rattling your entire body, except you were 3 miles away! (As close as anyone was allowed).

Unlike the shuttle, the Saturn V just crawled off the pad. I shot 35mm rolls with 36 exposures. I had to hand wind my camera and still could get 20 shots before the tail cleared the top of the gantry. You had to pace yourself to have a shot or two left for stage separation.

These are old slides that I rephotographed with a digital camera, so not the best. Personal camera, 200mm lens.

Shot while setting up a remote tracker 1 mile from the launch pad 8 hours before the launch of the first Saturn V (November 1967)
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Ignition, from the VAB parking lot 3 miles away:
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Halfway up the gantry:
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Up a couple rocket lengths:
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In the clouds:
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Rolling on:
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Setting up the remote control tracker that I was the engineer for:
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More of these photos are here if anyone is interested.

It sure was a fun and interesting job, while it lasted.
Bob
 

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