T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Monday, July 11, 2011

Stay-cation - Part IV - Final Space Shuttle Launch

We were so glad the final space shuttle launch - Shuttle Atlantis - coincided with T Rex Dad's stay-cation. We were also very happy it went off on-schedule and on-time. 

We would have loved to have been there in-person as we did have a couple of friends who witnessed the launch in Florida. I've always wanted to see and feel one in person. 

I have watched many a shuttle launch from school, home, work, etc. I've seen the Challenger and Columbia accidents but I've also seen dozens of other successful launches and landings, too. And, sometimes we can walk outside and see the shuttle docked to the International Space Station zooming by the night sky. That is cool!

Our son's bedroom is decorated with a space theme. He has a Saturn V rocket hanging from the ceiling along with a solar system mobile hanging as well. A photo of Eugene Cernan standing on the moon (he was the last man on the moon) also hangs over his bed. He says good night to him every night. Space travel is a big thing for us in our home. 

It was with great emotion we said good bye to the space shuttle program as we watched the final launch. I have no idea where the US space program will be going. It has given back far more than has put into it. More on this in a later posting. I think it would be a sad, sad thing if we do not get ourselves back into space and do it soon.

I was so happy we could share this moment together as a family. As a kid watching shuttle launches from my classroom I would have never thought some day I would sit down with my kids and watch a shuttle launch. But here it is and sadly, for the last time.

T Rex excitedly awaited the launch as the countdown paused at 31 seconds. After the countdown resumed he was content to just snuggle his dad. Bebe Sister was antsy and wanted to snuggle with me but I was videoing the event. Hence, the bit of whining in the background of the video. Then she insisted I take her photo, too, which I managed to do with her sitting on my lap hence the close up.

A very short video of the boys watching the launch. It is not the most exciting video but I wanted to document the event. T Rex Dad woke up early to get the computer connected to our giant monitor so we could have "TV" for the launch. Of course, it was only NASA TV but I could probably watch that all day! As you can see, T Rex was enthralled.


Have you ever seen a shuttle launch live? Any memories of watching ones on TV? Thoughts on the US space program?


Darrel Carver said...

As you know I was able to watch the launch of both STS-134 and STS-135. Absolutely incredible to watch. I wish guys could have come down.


Erin said...

Ohh I would LOVE to see a launch live that would be amazing! It's great you got it all on video!

Kim said...

First of all I adore that picture of T Rex Dad and the kids watching the shuttle. I think it's awesome that you pass this love you both have onto the kids. I'll bet T Rex has an awesome room.

We were in Florida one year - I was in grade 10 or 11 (1986 or 1987) and we watched a launch.

Jenners said...

I"m embarrassed to admit that we started watching it and then walked away and forgot about it.

Rey said...

I'm embarassed to admit this, but I was somewhat scarred by watching the Challenger explosion when I was young. We were so excited for the first teacher in space program. We'd been anticipating the count down.
Watching the explosion and knowing that Christa McAuliffe whom we'd been following stories on, was gone in the blink of an eye, was horrifying.
I've had trouble watching them ever since!

Caitlin said...

Very cool! We watched the Right Stuff a few weeks ago in honor of the ending of the space program!! I would have loved to see one in person!

septembermom said...

Whenever I watch a launch, I am overcome with a sense of wonder how humankind can soar into those heights, both physically and intellectually. I'm also sad to see the program end. How wonderful that you all share this passion about space exploration and study. T-Rex is definitely mesmerized like his Dad.